Yet another slab of old school Swedish death metal, only this time Horrid hails from Italy. With the band forming all the way back in 1988 (as Rites of Death), Horrid can hardly be labelled as a newcomer or follower of the recent surge of bands playing in the vein of Swedish death metal, and Sacrilegious Fornication, the band’s latest album is also their third full length in their 26 year history.
With the band’s last fresh material being their 2006 full length, Rising from the Hidden Spheres, Horrid shows that the 8 year break has done nothing to blunt their abilities in creating some of the most abrasive death metal. Title track sets an ominous mood, with the spoken sample laying down a disturbing foundation on which Horrid will build their brand of death metal upon. The first riffs hit the listener hard, and despite this being a brand new album, the band manages to retain the original vibe of the genre, with the trebly, buzzsaw guitar tone and the playing style of Belfagor, alternating between furiously trem-picked sections and chunky palm-muted riffs quickly reminding one of early Swedish death metal such as Nihilist, Entombed and Dismember. Riccardo’s drumming also sounds intentionally sloppy at times, adding to that old-school, slightly punkish vibe that the band has managed to emanate throughout the record.
At the same time, there is that tinge of blackened elements that could be spotted throughout the album. Fitting to the themes of Sacrilegious Fornication, Belfagor often indulges in some rather subtle dissonant riffing on the album, sending shivers down one’s spine.
Not to forget, the band also had Johan Jansson of Interment fame providing guest vocals on track 6, upping that Swedish street-cred of Horrid, as though the material that the band has included on the album weren’t sufficient to display the sound that the band proudly identifies themselves with.