If you think that album cover is cool, just wait until you take a listen to the music. While I have no problems when bands play strictly old school metal with no intentions of finding their own sound or showing any intent on achieving anything remotely innovative, it's usually better when a band can show some originality. Horrendous is one of those bands, and their debut full-length "The Chills" is a very fun trip full of twists and turns that every death metal fan can enjoy.
There isn't a single style of death metal that this album could be compared to. It's got some bits and pieces of Swedeath, Floridian death metal, and some of that good ol' fashioned doom/death. The opening track "The Womb" kicks off with a slow and sinister sounding melody that sets up the rest of the song perfectly, featuring plenty of death metal style tremolo sections and midpaced riffs created for one purpose: to wreck your fucking neck. The song "Fleshrot" is probably the most Florida sounding track. It's extremely fast and heavy. Seriously, the midpaced riffs in this song are some of the best that I've heard all year and put a lot of young thrash and death metal bands to shame. Another amazing track here is the doom-laden monster "The Ritual." I'm not sure if Horrendous did this intentionally, but this track's name is near identical to a song by the legendary Bolt Thrower, but that's not the weird part. This song more than any other on the record has a large Bolt Thrower influence, with the brilliant mix of heavy, doom riffs and melodies with the faster parts made for headbanging.
Having all of this variety in sound is one reason why "The Chills" is such a great record, but it's not the only reason. It always comes down to how well a band can write a song, and Horrendous can definitely do this. There are several instances throughout this album where you are tapping your feet along to the death metal tremolos and then suddenly you're leveled a heavy riff that forces your head to bang, with the song "Ripped to Shreds" being the best example of this. Along with the songwriting, the band excels at such little nuances that they place throughout the album, that when they're all mixed together the overall sound is magnificent. There are plenty of instances when Horrendous' guitar players weave in some fast solos while the vocals are doing their job at the forefront, and it takes the listener back to the first time they heard "Dreaming with the Dead." There are always some nice solos and melodies being thrown into the music, but it doesn't hinder the overall sound or sidetrack the listener, but it intensifies the bleak atmosphere created by all of the moving parts that make this record as terrific as it is.
It's near stupefying that such a well-written record like "The Chills" was written by such a young band, but masterful albums in the past were written by young punks who were just playing what they wanted and that's exactly what Horrendous has done here. If you're looking for quality death metal that sounds undeniably old-school from a new band, then this is exactly what you want.
Be sure to check out and like Horrendous on Facebook!
"Ripped to Shreds"
4.5/5 or 90%.