Review Summary: Brace yourself for passion...3 of 3 thought this review was well written
I’ve spent a good length of time conjuring up a way to justify this album's greatness with words I know. As you’ll come to find out in this review, I never come close. Horrified is not a journey. It is not progressive, it doesn’t take you anywhere. It’s more or less nothing more than your all out ear blasting audio rampage; an assault on everything that made you think you knew true grind. For its time, Horrified is an incredibly unique and well placed recording. In the same frame of time as grind was still maturing, only just recently being born, Repulsion step in and lay a foundation for the genre’s ever-expanding progression. In its incredibly short time frame, Horrified can take you right where you are, and without moving your attention or mentality or sense of reality, beat you over the head for 30 minutes, and leave without a single trace.
What I’m trying to get at here is that this album requires no in depth interpretation of the different human senses, or certainly no kind of appraisal for its progression, like a storyline/concept was built in. it’s straight up grind, and one of the hardest and most ruthless of its breed. Much like the men of Righteous Pigs and their first full-length, Horrified trades up the sinister, death-esque vocals in exchange for something more crusty, and the production isn’t complete sewage like the critically acclaimed Scum by Napalm Death. Your end result here is a grind album, finely-threaded with crust influences; and it is majesty.
The album kicks off right into your face, with a lonely, though heavy riff, that is in but just a few seconds accompanied by quick-paced blast beats, with riffage sped up 50X. It’s a formula that is neither new nor inventive (by the genre’s terms anyway), but it builds up adrenaline and gets the blood boiling. I say that the formula isn’t anything new for the genre, but the way that it is played out is professional, and gives the album a unique touch. There isn’t any monotone here for one. Anyone who complains about how grind albums bore the piss out of you, due to the more intricately placed aspects of this album, I don’t see how that could be a problem. The only known issue with this album is its accessibility; because at its roots, it is still a straight, non-stop grind album. Most won’t deny that the album flows as if it were all one song, but at least the song has some variety, and doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. The only real downer to this album's production really are the occasional solos. I personally like the evil, wailing shriek of high notes in albums such as these, but for this album's purpose, I'd say the group went a bit far. Nails on a blackboard, cat shriek, rusty blender...these are things that only wish they could banshee as hard as some of these solos.
Ultimately, I’d say the greatest aspect we have in this album are the vocals. Being the grind fan that I am, I accept vocals of all kinds, but I think the more hardcore/crust style of vocals here will attract a larger audience. The production is still kind of canned, but to be fair, that’s really what it’s supposed to be. And that’s really where the main show-stopper for this album comes into play, not too many people I know are a friend of that kind of sound. When all is said and done though, this is a pure, authentic, original, and morbidly chaotic slab of grinding music that played a big role in its time in putting this magnificent genre together. I only regret the unfortunate direction it’s taken since then. Regardless, this album retains another important quality: its timelessness. Horrified will always be up there with Scum, and World Downfall.
I realize that at this point in the review, you may or may not be any more convinced about the legitimacy of this album, but the truth is simply that this album after all these years still remains one of, if not the best this criminally underappreciated genre has to offer. As underground as grind is, and as hard as it may be to acquire other greats from more obscure groups who have essentially replicated this album in their own fantastic style (if you ask me, I think it’s beyond difficult to find said albums), Repulsion will always have this great at the forefront of grind libraries, and for good reason. It’s like I said before, this album is simply timeless. It never gets old. It never loses its value. No group today, with the kind of technology in a studio nowadays, could ever hope to come close to making the same kind of album Repulsion did in 1989. There’s always some modern twist on it, a twist that I simply cannot come to appreciate. Believe me I’ve tried, but this is what true grind is to me, that late 80’s/early 90’s muddy and chaotic analog recording of 3 or 4 freaks going at it relentlessly on their instruments with seemingly no direction whatsoever is just the kind of disorganized and incoherent kind of production I long for. So when an album like this comes along that has the senseless brutality mixed with creative songwriting and muddiness not just for the sake of being muddy? Come on…