Horrendous
Ecdysis


3.7
great

Review

by Kyle Ward EMERITUS
October 18th, 2014 | 272 replies


Release Date: 10/27/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Reincarnating death metal's past

Perhaps one of the biggest problems with the “old school” revival in the death metal scene is the fact that bands are stating up front that they intend to repeat rather than innovate. It’s not that I don’t like a galloping romp through the riff-laden brutality that permeated death metal in the early 90’s, it is just that if I really wanted to relive those times I would much rather spin a record by one of the bands that pioneered and perfected it rather than a band that is only paying homage to it. The only real gems that spawn from the OSDM revival scene are a product of innovation fused with the generous riffing and tumultuous instrumental arrangements that hearken back to the days of death metal yesteryear. When done properly, this takes a rather two-dimensional copy and paste approach and transforms it into a three-dimensional record that has movement beyond the clichés that dwell at its core.

Using this formula, Horrendous have shown us that they too can take old school Swedish death metal and twist it into something that belongs in the 21st century death metal world, with their debut The Chills prompting much acclaim and focusing more attention on this unknown South Carolina act. It is true that The Chills felt more like a proof of concept rather than a refinement, so through an attempt to turn this promising beginning into some kind of tangible niche they have come to us with Ecdysis. It jolts around from crushing riff to crushing riff while also retaining a fairly major focus on creeping melodies that sometimes swell into full-blown displays of grandiose guitar building, and when this occurs tracks like the opener “The Stranger” begin to gain clear headway when paired next to the more by-the-numbers pieces. That is where the main problem with Ecdysis rears its head: the points when the band begin to enter this three-dimensional amalgamation of old school death metal and swirling progressive song structures stand so far ahead of the more traditional OSDM-worship that comprises a lot of the core tracks. In a way that creates an illusion of filler simply because the more straight-forward melodies of “Heaven’s Deceit” have trouble keeping up with the surprising technicality of “Resonator” or the doomy barrage of “Titan”, despite the fact that all of these tracks stand as very solid additions to the record.

Amidst a production which is quite frankly an excellent fit for this style, the instruments must always be at the top of their game. It becomes a noticeable absence when the bass no longer swells to the forefront like it does with the vibrant licks in “The Stranger”, and the frantic solos within “Nepenthe” trample the dull, crunching chords surrounding it that are, by comparison, dead weight. Similarly, it becomes obvious that the vocals sometimes lack the power or bellow to drive home a darker tone, instead opting to stick with a more maniacal wail that grows wearisome, especially when the instruments are calling for something a little more guttural. When things are on point, though, Ecdysis is a colorful plane within the black and grey world of old school death metal imitators. The sinister riffing that introduces “Monarch” and the thrashing lick that follows it proves to be a more apt homage to the creepiness of early 90’s death metal than most other acts of this style manage to produce in their entire career, and for that we simply must tip our hats to Horrendous. Not only do they manage to capture the creative fervor that most seasoned death metal fans will know all too well, they translate it onto a canvas that is more refined than the ones that were available 20 years ago.

The knowledge of their influences and the ability to progress from methods that have had two decades to grow stale is a rare gift, but one that Horrendous possess. What is most disheartening about Ecdysis, though, is that it is still closer to proof of concept rather than it is refinement, and much like The Chills it only serves to draw more attention to the potential that this band has, and only increases the desire for them to fully realize it. I won’t complain too much, because as the solos fly and the drums wail, it makes you realize that despite its flaws, Ecdysis is still well beyond the scope of most bands that simply set out to reincarnate the decaying old school death metal vibe. They have the correct magic at their disposal to conjure this corpse that is OSDM from its fetid, mid-1990’s tomb, they just have to learn to project it in a fashion that consistently ushers the sound into the future rather than leave it locked in the past to fade away once more.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Emeritus
October 18th 2014


17369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not much more to say about this really

BallsToTheWall
October 18th 2014


49497 Comments


M/ (passes mic to Kyle)

Digging: Heretical Sect - Rotting Cosmic Grief

Crysis
Emeritus
October 18th 2014


17369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I'd just like to say that I really like riffs"



(passes mic back to wylie)

BallsToTheWall
October 18th 2014


49497 Comments


Album is what America should sound like all the time.

(passes mic off to kyle again)

Crysis
Emeritus
October 18th 2014


17369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And by that, he of course means America should always sound like Sweden in 1993



(passes mic off to wylie)

BallsToTheWall
October 18th 2014


49497 Comments


Well said.

( I drop the mic, break my wrist and walk away)

tempest--
October 18th 2014


20632 Comments


can't wait for this sucker to arrive in my mailbox

Crysis
Emeritus
October 18th 2014


17369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

*the crowd all m/ in unison*

Solbrave
October 18th 2014


574 Comments


nepenthe is so good at biting heartwork (the title track) that it's better than heartwork (the album)

adr
October 18th 2014


12005 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is rly good

Insurrection
October 18th 2014


24719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great stuff

Digging: Dark Tranquillity - Fiction

ShadowRemains
October 18th 2014


25005 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

exact same rating i'd give it



i mean the standouts are awesome, but there's too few of them

Gyromania
October 18th 2014


26614 Comments


that cover is friggin sweet. makes me wish this had higher ratings lol

AngryNeighbor
October 18th 2014


219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

another disappointment on top of the mountain of 2014 disappointments

ShadowRemains
October 18th 2014


25005 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

ok snox

facupm
October 18th 2014


11370 Comments


wow i should get this

Let
October 18th 2014


1608 Comments


I really like that death n' roll midsection on the embedded track. I'll give this a full listen later

L4titudes
October 18th 2014


3647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cool art

sonictheplumber
October 18th 2014


10370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cant wait to listen and promptly 3.5 and never listen again



m/

sonictheplumber
October 18th 2014


10370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

damn i never rated de chills



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