A death metal band called Horrendous...what could go wrong? Well, not much with this American outfit. While my death metal preference is usually the brutal early-90's kind of death metal, this band delivers an old school Bolt Thrower-ish sound that will surely take older listeners back. A hint of thrash is present, but the eight tracks in "Anareta" most certainly hearken back to Europe's heavier "fuck you" to mid-80's melodic metal; the band's influences listed on their Facebook, which include Entombed, Asphyx, and Dismember, come to mind while listening.
The first track, "The Nihilist", contains ambient vocal effects; again, I am not a fan of death growl vocals with effects. Thankfully for me, the effects are more or less gone by the following song "Ozymandias". Otherwise, the Martin van Drunen-esque throaty growl/scream vocals accent the music in a way that the target listener will surely appreciate. Instrumentally, the band manages to pull off a...listenable, catchy sound without going into the Scandinavian melodic death metal sound, which is rare for a modern death metal band that steers clear of gory brutality and/or deathcore. This trio essentially strips the instrumental components down to the barest, what with two guitarist/singers and drummer; the band lacks a bassist, as far as I have researched, but because the bass is usually unnoticeable/barely noticeable in music such as this, I don't really miss the bass and surely no other fan would. Also, even though I'm not partial to acoustic, Horrendous pulls off the acoustic intro to the most melodic song, "Sum of All Failures", as well as the melodic intro and conclusion to the last song, "The Solipsist (Mirrors Gaze)", as if to tie the music to the titles.
The song lengths are fine on average, not too long nor too short. The first three tracks vary in length a bit drastically for my liking (from "The Nihilist" at 5:06, to "Ozymandias" at 7:23, to "Siderea" at 3:45), but the tracks are otherwise engaging and vary nicely musically. The titles are straight to the point, yet take more than one listen to remember.
My rating: 8.5/10
Don't forget to catch my show, the Death Pit, every Saturday night at 9:00 PST!