Comprising stalwarts of the Australian underground scene, Horrisonous formed in 2015 and unleashed their first EP of sludgy death metal upon an unsuspecting world a year later. This debut album is awash with the kind of tongue-in-cheek song titles that sit somewhere between Cannibal Corpse and Macabre, but Horrisonous shouldn’t be written off as another comedy gore band.

Sonically, Horrisonous blend the dread-filled doom-laden end of the extreme metal spectrum that first endeared us to Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride in their formative years, with the up-tempo riffage associated with Asphyx, Autopsy and early Death. That’s not to say it sounds dated though, as the production and sharpness of the performance lends a vaguely contemporary air to proceedings, and the sinister atmosphere is one that you’d possibly expect from a modern black metal band as opposed to doom/death.

“A Tale Of Matriphagy” in particular showcases how the band fleetingly change gears and incorporate melody, all whilst injecting a sense of urgency into their apprehensive atmospherics, whilst “Nourishment Through Excrement”, it’s sludgy intro shifting into a faster tremolo picked section, provides as fine an example of a dread-filled suffocating undercurrent as I’ve heard in a long time.

With their unique take own old school sludgy death metal given a fresh lick of paint, Horrisonous prove that you can be nostalgic without sounding dated. The silly song titles mask a serious penchant for doing things properly, the result being a surprisingly solid and relevant debut album.

(7/10 Doogz)