Horrendous – ‘Anareta’

Country:

Label: Dark Descent

Review by Jay H. Gorania

Horrendous have been fine-tuning themselves with each step, producing albums that have the ability to make the most jaded of long-time death metalheads take a double take. With album number three, “Anareta,” they’ve taken a significant leap forward. “Anareta” may presumably be met with glazed-over stares from anyone who insists upon all things “brutal” as being of the utmost importance in death metal. But for those who aren’t worried about trying to scare their grandmas with their CD collections, Horrendous provides instant appeal with their dynamic stylings and progressive ambition. “Anareta” is actually up-beat in terms of mood, at various points, most notably as “Acolytes” winds down with a melancholy-dripping guitar melody that crescendos to a surprisingly joyous conclusion, and they pull it off within the framework of death metal.

“Anareta” isn’t just a good death metal album, though; it’s a good metal album. And because of their abundance of melodies and ability to deliver old-school heavy metal with a modern twist, it’s incredibly accessible, enough to the point where it could potentially attract listeners outside of the realm of metal. They tear a page or two from the more aggressive side of older Swedish death metal, yet the album’s most bleak element is the vocals, which are akin to those of Patrick Mameli of Pestilence. There really is no weak link in “Anareta,” and Horrendous should be praised for putting the heavy metal back into death metal.

JH