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Horncrowned – Rex Exterminii (The Hand of the Opposer)

Horncrowned
Rex Exterminii (The Hand of the Opposer)
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 November 2020, 12:22 PM

HORNCROWNED is a Brutal Black Metal band formed in Bogota, Colombia in 2001. They have released four previous full-length albums, and are back in 2020 with their fifth, titled “Rex Exterminii (The Hand of the Opposer).” The title track leads off the album. It opens with brutal, pounding notes and vile vocals. It’s pretty traditional Black Metal when you consider the roots of the genre, and there isn’t much experimentation present. “The Second Death” features more of the same…a thick and full-on Black Metal assault, with more cymbal crashes than you can count. It’s chaotic and ripping, but they aren’t winning many points for originality or diversity.

“Ultima Combustione” is perhaps even more brutal, with a wall of sound and an un-matched vocal presence. They definitely win points for the punishing nature of their work, but it leaves little room for improvisation. “Unrepentent” begins with a lead guitar assault that eventually slows just a bit. The drums roll at an impossibly fast pace, and the vocals never let up. “Incendium” is the first track that varies just a bit from the others. It opens with a slightly slower pace that is quickly demolished by the guitar, drum and vocal assault. Still, there is just a bit of melody here in the guitars particularly.

“Burnt Offering” is just more of the same. They aren’t even trying to be different, but holding onto past formulas from the FWOBM. Sure, it’s brutal, but that’s about all that they are offering. “Die Judicii” again offers more of the same. It’s hard to even distinguish a given song from another on the album. There is some variation in length, but that’s about it. “Confrontation” is a short, three-minute burst of fire, anger, and hatred. The band plays very tightly together as a quartet, that much is for sure. But again they don’t stray from the path that has been laid out many times before.

“Armamentarium” is, again, more of the same. How many times am I going to have to repeat myself here? There isn’t really much else to talk about. “Crushing the Anointed One” closes the album, and thank God for that. If you prefer to hear the same sound in track after countless track, this album might be for you. But for me, I found the incessant repetitiveness to be quite annoying. Besides some great cover art, the album fell completely flat for me. They have found a niche in the genre of playing as loudly, and brutally as absolutely possible, but it doesn’t leave much room for anything else.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 1
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Rex Exterminii
2. The Second Death
3. Ultima Cumbustione
4. Unrepentant
5. Incendium
6. Burnt Offering
7. Die Judicii
8. Confrontation
9. Armamentarium
10. Crushing the Anointed One
Lineup:
Demongoat – Guitars/Vocals
Ferat – Guitars
Necrocrav – Bass
Dying B – Drums
Record Label: Ketzer Records
     


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