Where do you go after releasing a masterpiece? Where do you go after releasing a masterpiece in a sub-genre that isn’t concerned with forward motion? That’s the dilemma Horrendous found themselves in after 2015’s Anareta. The Philly/ DC band managed to place old school death metal on a turbulent yet accessible space odyssey on their third album. The album sprawled in progressive death metal with tracks like “Ozymendias” and “The Sum of All Failures” while also pulling off concise melodic arrangements with “Stillborn Gods” and “Polaris”. “Acolytes” includes the most emotive snare hits I’ve ever heard. By all accounts, the album is something of a modern classic. So, where do they go after Anareta? If the new track, “Soothsayer”, is anything to go off of, they’ve doubled down and gone bigger.
“Soothsayer” is the first taste of the bands upcoming album Idol and it is quite a bit. For starters: the riffs seem denser this time around. Intricate, bulldozer guitar lines plow along that are as massive as they are catchy. Also, the vocals are more pronounced and even more intense than on past tracks. Damien Herring and Matt Knox actually share vocal duties on “Soothsayer” creating some kind of monstrous duet or a death metal version of Outkast. But what’s truly great about the new track is the way it mixes Horrendous’ astral ambitions while focusing on the kind of song craft that heightens replay value. It’s been a big year for old school death metal. Releases from Tomb Mold and Extremity are most likely going to land themselves on more than a few lists come year end, but Horrendous have just reminded us why they’re at the top. But, really, I think it’s time we prepare ourselves for an album that may be better than Anareta. Check out “Soothsayer” below.
Idol is out 9/28 on Season of Mist.