Horrified: Of Despair

Horrified - Of Despair album cover Date Released: 03/25/2016
Label: Stormspell Records
Album Type: Full
Band info: Facebook

It’s funny. You can’t judge a book by its cover as they say, and I certainly did with this album. The cover made me think it was American, no reason, just an assumption. From the opening riffing and vocals I then stuck my pin in Sweden as there is a certain Sunlight Studios feel to this, and then when I researched the band I found they were from Newcastle upon Tyne, in the UK. And who do you know that hails from that town? Anyone? Yes, Fitton at the back – “Venom, sir” – yes, correct. So not surprising they nurture something as sick sounding as Horrified.

Of Despair is a follow-up to their debut, and still has that sick slick Autopsy style sound, but there is something very Scandinavian about this rhythmic sound, along with the blasting drums and guttural vocals, the hum of guitars remind me of those heady days of Entombed and Dismember – and for me they were halcyon days indeed. It opens with a classic sift introduction to “Palace of Defilement” that brings in the strains of the guitar with crashing cymbals that break away for the thrashing guitar to take over.

“Chasm of Nihrain” has something of a Carcass feel to it to my untrained ear with is sheer disgusting sound where “Dreamer of Ages” encapsulates that Swedish sound with its rhythmic groove. The production on this is really excellent as everything is in balance, and the musicianship includes enough rise and fall, blast and twiddly bits and lead riffing to keep a guy like me interested. And the closer, “The Ruins that Remain” spoils us with opus that covers all the bases.

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