Death Metal is a scene that welcomes reverence to the masters and is happy in its conservatism, providing certain aesthetics are adhered to. So, set your HM2 pedals to stun as Newcastle’s (England) Horrified pay tribute with grand devotion at the altar of Entombed as they channel the Sunlight Studios spirit to the max on their crunky Death Metal debut Descent Into Putridity (Momento Mori).
‘Tomb Of Rebirth’ lurches into aural consciousness with a crawling opening riff not entirely dissimilar to ‘Dismembered’ by, um, Dismember, from the legendary Like An Everflowing Stream (Nuclear Blast), before the pace is picked up, and Horrified churn down the Left Hand Path (Earache). The lo-fi production gives a sense of timelessness, like this album could have been a product of the Scandinavian Death Metal explosion of the early 90’s. This is also to their detriment at times, as the power and scything rage of closer ‘Repugnant Degeneration’ is hamstrung by a biscuit tin snare and disappearing toms, while the double kicks sound like a 1970’s typewriter.
But the production is only a small element, and adds to the homage Horrified undertake. Dan Alderson’s sandpapered-throat pitches around the Martin van Drunen mark, and helps draw ‘Narcolepsy’ into the Consuming Impulse (Roadrunner) ballpark, before the song swerves off via Leprosy – era Death (Relapse) and ‘Fall From Grace’ (Blessed Are The Sick, Earache) style Morbid Angel tectonics, raging to a close.
Diversity is not necessarily the name of the game here, but neither have we ventured into the land of the pony with one trick, as a slew of gratifying vari-paced old school riffs tick various boxes, with Horrified parading and espousing an obvious love of classic, dirty Death Metal to their benefit. As the band name may suggest there are also plenty of Repulsion references in some of the grindier and grimier passages, such as the blast that opens of ‘Veil Of Souls’.
You do have to be careful with Death Metal as it’s very easy to end up with a collection filled with thousands of bands not saying anything new or exciting, but all churning out decent enough music that references, but doesn’t better, the greats. That said, a quick dip and a descent into putridity is a good a way to spend half an hour as any.