Horrendous - Anareta
Dark Descent Records
Death Metal
8 songs (44' 16")
Release year: 2015
Official Label Bandcamp
Reviewed by Andy

Horrendous has been busy; only last year we got Ecdysis, one of the better albums of that year, and they already have a new full-length for our listening pleasure: Anareta. But whereas Ecdysis was melodic and somewhat more newbie-friendly, Anareta drops quite a bit of the melody, but keeps the riffing and soloing of the previous album, giving Anareta a lot of the flavor of a latter-day Death album in places, complete with the progressive bent of that band's music.

The Nihilist starts Anareta more harshly than the previous album, with fast riffing and a furious delivery matched with a wandering solo. I liked it, but Ozymandias is even better. It fits its eponymous poem quite well, supporting the song with big, solemn chords with a lonely, mournful air to them and bringing in tremolo picking matched with fast riffing. The vocalists match this; Damian Herring and Matt Knox's shrieks bring a strung-put combination of pain and loss in their voices on this song, and the sadness of this one shines through even more on Siderea, a slower song with a lot of Horrendous's familiar lead guitar harmony, contrasts strongly with Polaris's harsh riffing and high-pitched, vibrato-filled solo.

Some of the later tracks add a bit more of the melody that Ecdysis had. Sum of All Failures has a nice chorus-melody, and Stillborn Gods has some extremely catchy riffs, including one that reminds me of the main riff on Black Sabbath's Snowblind. But in keeping with the feel of this album, there is a big, monolithic sound to even the most melodic riffs, with lots of palm-muting and crunchiness. The Solipsist (Mirrors Gaze) starts quieter and sounded at first to me like it would be a more effervescent outro to its heavy predecessors, but though it has a softer core buried behind the guitars, it's still a stolid, emphatic track with a verse riff that climbs steadily up, as though on a stairway, before dropping down into the low end again for the next chord.

I don't like Anareta quite as much as Ecdysis, but it's very close. In both cases, this is a band who can write some great melodies and still provide some of the heaviness of old-school death to underline their often-progressive songwriting. Anareta is a solidly heavy album with plenty of melodic trappings and soloing for those who prefer both in their music.

Killing Songs :
Ozymandias, Stillborn Gods
Andy quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Horrendous that we have reviewed:
Horrendous - Ecdysis reviewed by Andy and quoted 87 / 100
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