There’s only one word for the recent venomous death metal wickedness comes out from that El Paso, Texas. Hortlak. And sudden death happened! These Texan death metallers have brought their self-titled debut album, wrapped in a massive musical development, which confronts the listener with tones of old school Swedish death metal to modern American death metal influences.
At first listens, Hortlak may sound like a mediocre album which has nothing special in itself. But after giving it more spins it definitely sounds a like a classic death metal release. Its sharp and definite production totally keeps the music away of any muddy, murky moods, keeping the listeners very close to the catchy riffs and groovy drums which is programmed by Mike, the bassist of the band. Kyle, the vocalist has done a perfect job. His massive guttural voice is psychotic and it completely has its own positive place in the music of the album, offers more brutality pushing the music.
While the routine time lengths of songs are mostly two, three minutes, the last song “Afet” appears as not just the longest song of the album which is six minutes long but also comes up as the best song of the record, where the band had enough time to jam together to put bunch of melodic parts here and there.
Hortlak is short and straight to the heart of the album, a compelling mixture of everything what death metal is all about, inspired by the seminal bands to the modern death metal, which you can even hear some brutal death touches into some moments of it. If you are a death metal fan, you can pick up and enjoy this album from the beginning to the end of it seconds by seconds, but if you are in search of dark, ritualistic and atmospheric type of death metal, you can skip Hortlak forever.