Review Summary: A successful modern death metal release deriving formulas from the OSDM scene and adding a touch of Swedish seasonings.
With all the sub-genre death metal acts popping up nowadays it's nice to know the foundation setters are still shining through; whether it be in person or in memory. Horrendous executes a professional job, carrying the memory of notable Swedish Death Metal acts such as Dismember, Gorement, and Entombed. The cohesive factor of "The Chills" is of great note, which one can decipher by the close bond brothers Matt [Guitar, Vocals] and Jamie [Drums] Knox have. Surely they must have studied, practiced, and perfected the art of Swedish Old School Death Metal, also adding a touch of their own feel and originality.
From the beginning "The Chills" takes its listeners through a realm of solid compositions. Most notably in the area of guitars, they fuse harmonizing riffs and leads seamlessly, creating the foundation for Horrendous' sound. Solos are found throughout this album, but in an original fashion they can sometimes be found during a vocal verse line, such as in the case of "The Womb". The well thought out production department mixed dissonant solos perfectly, so as not to detract from the volume level of the present overlaying vocals.
The drums always follow the lead of the riffs but are noticeably present as they are always used perfectly and never detract from the emotion laid out by the guitars. The fills are always tasteful and sometimes even push the riffs even further in certain tracks as "Altars" and "The Ritual". "The Ritual", being one of my favorite tracks, contains a well balanced blend of fast and slower tempos allowing for a more "grimy" feel to the pace of this album. In reference to fast and slower tempos, they can be found throughout "The Chills" and make their appearance in an unforced fashion while driving the emotional points of each track home.
The vocal department is one of my favorites from this album as well as the aspect I will remember most about it. They can be a bit difficult to describe, but I would say they compare most to John Tardy's of Obituary, although not completely identical. They have a sludgy, mid-low tone to them and fit very well amongst its instrumental components. "Ripped to Shreds" showcases some of the filthiest vocal performances Death Metal has to offer.
"The Chills" stands as a strong component is the modern revival of Old School Death Metal. While it doesn't create many new factors in the genre, it does however mark itself as one solid Death Metal album, as well as being an excellent start to 2012. This album is recommended to any fan of Death Metal, Swedish Death Metal, and most particularly, OSDM.