Review Summary: A startling hybrid of death metal fury and delicate progressive melodicisms.
Essentially being a progressive death metal outfit, Californias 7 Horns 7 Eyes release their debut album at a time when genre classification seems to be, rather inexplicably, of paramount importance to young music fans. Refreshingly, 'Throes Of Absolution' contains a fantastic adventurous streak, meaning the band avoid becoming mere Opeth clones as they manage to sound rather different to the accepted notion of what this genre is supposed to be.
Beginning with some unassuming clean guitars and atmospheric swells, opener 'Divine Amnesty' gets thing off to a majestic start. Shimmering chord passages give way to churning grooves and soaring lead work, the constant mid-tempo pace making for a consistantly crushing listen. Indeed, what is most impressive here is how the band are able to remain so unflinchingly savage yet so grandly melodic. Tracks such as album highlight 'The Winnowing' ride on a relentless bed of monstrous chugging and ferociously guttural vocals, but with a illuminating guitar line around the corner at every turn, the sonic violence is never able to become tiresome.
What also makes 'Throes Of Absolution' such an engaging release, is that it is surprising listenable. Their sound forego's the frenzied technical battery that has been so heavily overdone, and songs such as 'Cycle Of Self', whilst occassionally rattling along at a unforgiving pace, retain a certain accessability which is essential to push this variety of forward thinking, heavy music out of the underground.
A startling hybrid of death metal fury and delicate progressive melodicisms, 7 Horns 7 Eyes have really struck upon something. Never overly complex or drearily plodding, the ethereal yet malevolent ambience, unmericful heaviness, stellar musicianship and uncommonly approachable nature make 'Throes Of Absolution' an immense experience and serious contender for metal album of 2012.