Horrendous – Ontological Mysterium

You are currently viewing Horrendous – Ontological Mysterium

Year: 2023
Total Time: 37:41
Label: Season Of Mist

Once upon a time, as Thrash and Death Metal bands continued to push the boundaries by playing faster and heavier, there were also some bands trying to expand the extreme sound in somewhat different ways. Whether by playing more uncompromisingly, more technically, or generally having a more progressive approach to composing music.

All of this evolved somewhere in the late 80s and early 90s, with some Americans pioneering the introduction of Prog Rock and Jazz influences into Death Metal, incorporating keyboards, vocoders, and lots of other innovations.

So, HORRENDOUS seems to have discovered a time machine and travelled back to that era. They found and befriended some restless personalities named Chuck, Paul, Kelly, Steve, along with some Canadians with curious nicknames, and even some Swiss who liked the Beatles! After they chatted, exchanged ideas, and listened to music together, HORRENDOUS returned to the present and recorded “Ontological Mysterium.”

Having started playing OSDM, it’s remarkable how the Americans’ journey gradually evolved into a Progressive Death Metal band. They had already attracted a lot of attention with the outstanding “Anareta” in 2015 and “Idol” in 2018. So, five years after their last album, the duo of the Knox brothers and Damian Herring returns to the music scene with an amazing album that honours the teachings of DEATH, ATHEIST, CYNIC, and even VOIVOD with a bit of the technical groove of CORONER.

Here you won’t find pointless blast beats, showy guitar solos, or overly verbose compositions where not a single riff sticks in your mind. On the contrary, here you’ll encounter songs that, while technically at a high level, leave enough space between the riffs, rhythm changes, solos, and vocals for each composition to breathe.

Most importantly, it seems that the band had a lot of fun writing and recording this album. Listening to “Ontological Mysterium,” I get the impression that HORRENDOUS are a group of talented musicians who entered the studio together, jammed their favourite tunes, and wrote nine wonderful pieces of progressive Death Metal from the good old days.

From the frenzied speeds of their most Thrash-oriented moments to the melodies balancing the technical storm, to the small tributes to the giants of the past, to the sudden changes that catch you off guard, and the clever use of clean vocals, “Ontological Mysterium” is an album that fans of classic Progressive Death Metal will love.

The production, done by Damian Herring himself (guitar, vocals), is exemplary. It maintains a nostalgic air without sounding too modern. All the instruments sound clear, especially the bass that channels the works of DiGiorgio and Malone.

For those who like their Death Metal to be technical, unpredictable, and adventurous, then invest fearlessly in “Ontological Mysterium”!

Rating: 8,5/10
Editor: Dimitris Benetatos
Related Link: HORRENDOUS – Official Page

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