My love of Prog Rock has doubled over the past few weeks, upon researching Caravan tour dates it suddenly dawned upon me that if I don’t seize the opportunity to watch these legends of old now I may never get the chance. This has since resulted in the purchase of various classic Prog albums and a ticket to see Camel live. I have always enjoyed Prog elements in music, that sense of build up or technical prowess is something a self-professed musical nerd such as myself rather enjoys. Yet Prog seems tinged with an uncool badge as if the only beings capable of its enjoyment are geography teachers donning neutral colours.
The Prog smothered Death Metallers Horrendous from the US have come to blow the textbooks out of the water and prove that you can still be cool and make Prog drenched music. Formed in 2009 the band have shot up in the underground with their sophomore full length Ecdysis being hailed as somewhat of a modern classic. The Horrendous camp has laid almost silent since 2015’s Anareta but now with the band on the faithful Season Of Mist they are set to elevate their sound further through their latest release Idol.
Prog is all about beauty, and with beauty comes a certain Tech, an instant melodious, dark yet free flowing ambience lingers throughout the intricately woven passages. With a Death Metal tone that doesn’t even come across as aggressive Idol is an utterly unique experience. The bass looms in the mix as a tight, collected homage to Cynic or Obscura, delicate and with the power to enfold the listener in a sort of welcoming manner this is Death Metal of the netherworlds, otherworldly and ethereal in every sense. Even to the point where the vocals, whilst generally unclean are hinted with pained growls that resonate in an emotive, striking respect.
If you enjoy rich, encompassing riffs then Idol has it all The Idolater and Divine Anhedonia serve up rhythmic drum sections and glinting guitar and bass which all whisk together in a whirlwind of cataclysmic purity. Not to mention the show off notes of Threnody… a delightful instrumental that even me with my bitter detest of instrumentals cannot help but enjoy, or perhaps that is just my new found Prog love coming out. Whatever your creed this album is a real crowd pleaser, Death Metal for non-Death Metal fans and fans of the sickening underground, music for musicians and Tech lovers alike Idol showcases talent in a way that brings cultures together and retains memorability.
I could continue with my scene-amalgamating theories but I will not bore you, this is simply a stunning piece of work, that cannot be denied. Fans of more traditional Death Metal may find the Prog elements slightly impure but I ask think of Symbolic by Death or Unquestionable Presence by Atheist. These are classics beyond the realms of even Death Metal, and whilst Horrendous have a way to go in securing a throne of that much grandeur they have at least shown that the war is on. Could this be the coronation of Progressive Death Metals new champions?
(8/10 George Caley)