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Horned Almighty – To Fathom the Master's Grand Design Award winner

Horned Almighty
To Fathom the Master's Grand Design
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 17 January 2020, 2:42 AM

Danish Black Metallers HORNED ALMIGHTY were formed in 2002 by S. (formerly known as Smerte) on vocals and Hellpig (formerly known as Soth) who played both Guitar and Bass. The two who had been active in the Extreme Metal underground since the early nineties, the famous second wave of Black metal, formed the band. HORNED ALMIGHTY was originally intended as a side project, but soon became both men’s priority project. After a year of using programmed drums, Harm was recruited into the band in 2003. Kim Nielsen aka Luger came into the band in 2005 as Bassist, Quentin Nicollet aka Aries was Guitarist from 2005 to 2012. Luger left in 2010 and was temporarily replaced by Leifur Nielsen aka Carnage for a year from 2012 to 2013. Haxen came in as Bassist in 2013 and no further changes have been made to date. This is album number six following Black Metal Jesus, The Devil's Music - Songs of Death and Damnation, Contaminating the Divine, Necro Spirituals and World of Tombs in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014 respectively.

“Violent Cosmology” opens up in a furious manner. The melodies are set to a frenzied pace, but they work perfectly. The vocals are low and I have no idea what is being said, but they are not distorted at all, so their effect is not ruined in anyway. The composure shown to not only control the tempo and aggression of the melodies, but to blend them together harmonically, is nothing short of brilliant. “Apocalyptic Wrath” continues in similar pace and aggression from where “Violent Cosmology” let off. The frantic tempo leads to creating a beautiful melody, almost a Melodic Black Metal mixed with BOLT THROWER level speed and aggression. The melodies are once again fantastic, mixing styles perfectly. Nothing has been added unnecessarily to this song, it is just pure talent and it really pays off.

“Antagonism Eternal” has slowed down a bit, but the melody is still solid. This one shows us a different aspect from an instrumental point of view. This has a far more progressive outlook as far as harmonic melodies go, this adds a great depth not only as far as songs go, but also the album. This song shows us a new aspect to the band, far more old school Death Metal, which is never a bad thing “Devouring Armageddon” has the raw power back once more. As we get further into the album, the vocals become easier to understand and appreciate. The melody will keep your head banging. There is once more a progressive stance to the guitar play, but it is heavier and it makes it so much better, a true piece of artistry.

“Swallowed by the Earth” continues to progressive approach laid down by “Devouring Armageddon”. The speed may has disappeared somewhat but the effort has not. The melodies are still working well, the song is still catchy. Could have maybe added more pace to separate the sound from songs before, but it matches where in the album it is, so cannot fault that. There are some differences, which allows you to avoid being bored of the same sound, but not enough to think it has an entirely new aspect. The same can be said for “The Great Death”, which you can tell it is a different song, but only just. Its placement makes sense, but you start to feel the rest of the album will follow suit, which is hard to criticize because these are all great songs.

“Punishment Divine” picks the pace up and tries adding a few new chords, which clearly makes this feel like a new song, which has been missing for a few songs. Good melody approach on the start. The melody takes a step back with pace once more, but the progressive instrumental approach guide it through the song nicely. “Witchcraft Demonology” takes off with the slower aspects of the ending of “Punishment Divine”. The song does not really go anywhere; it fades out at the end with some sampling, but fails to kick start into gear. Not a great finish, but there is nothing wrong with it. Good effort, a few different styles, not mixing them up enough makes the end of the album feel stale. However, there is enough talent on these songs for them to be enjoyed and appreciated.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Violent Cosmology
2. Apocalyptic Wrath
3. Antagonism Eternal
4. Devouring Armageddon
5. Swallowed by the Earth
6. The Great Death
7. Punishment Divine
8. Witchcraft Demonology
Lineup:
Simon Petersen aka S. – Vocals
Thomas Haxen aka Haxen – Bass
Bjørn Bihlet aka Hellpig – Guitar
Jacques Brandt aka Harm – Drums
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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Edited 21 February 2020
 

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