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Horned Almighty - World Of Tombs

Horned Almighty
World Of Tombs
by Julius “Dreadheart” Mikkelä at 14 July 2014, 8:24 PM

“World of Tombs” is the fifth studio album by the Danish Devi-worshiping Black - and ever so slightly Punk - Metal ensemble, HORNED ALMIGHTY, who have their roots all the way back to the early 90’s.  I call them Punk because where most Black Metal acts aim for a cold and vicious sound with a haunting or evil atmosphere, HORNED ALMIGHTY appears to have thought it not Hellish enough and so they stuck their hand into Punk, Hardcore and Grind and took from it sheer and unadulterated aggression. Fused it into their CELTIC FROST and DISCHARGE-esque Black Metal, stripped the whole thing down and forged a take-no-shit sound constructed for domination and devastation. Really, who needs finesse when you can just destroy everything, right?

The album starts with an intro track, a non-instrumental track with just some wind and what sounds like a horn somewhere in the background. It then jumps without any resemblance of coherence or flow into the first song and title track, “World of Tombs”. I don’t like that; if you’re going to have intros or interludes, then take the time to make them part of the album or don’t have them at all. Anyway, “World of Tombs” kicks straight off into a quasi-Melodic song of heavy riffs and crushing vocals and introduces HORNED ALMIGHTY’s somewhat unusual style of Black Metal, which at times could be confused with simply being Death Metal, with its more straight-forward and much more aggressive touch. “Diabolical Engines Of Torment” is a relentless tour de force of speed and fury, and is arguably the most Grindy track on the album. “Unpure Salvation” is a more slow-going, which by HORNED ALMIGHTY’s standard isn’t much, song with a strong chorus which carries over into a more traditional Black Metal shred-frenzy in its middle-section. “Plague Propaganda” starts the climb back to speed with a half-fast and riff heavy track, somewhat similar to the first song. “Of Flesh And Darkness” is the definitive return to speed and unleashes it relentlessly throughout the highly paced track. The album then makes a U-turn on “In Torture We Trust Pr. II”, which – apart from a few segments of more furious shredding – is the slowest and most atmospheric track on the album. Another U-turn into “This Unholy Dwelling”, which attempts to rival the speed and relentless fury of “Diabolical Engines Of Torment”, and only to end up at the album closer, “Blessed By Foulness” which is a more dynamic and mid-paced track with some rather unusual riffs that borders on being Progressive. And indeed the track is almost 7 minutes long, the by far longest on the album, so if this album has a Progressive track, “Blessed By Foulness” is it. The digipack also contains a 10th bonus track, “Twisted Mass Of Burnt Decay”, which kicks off into a complete grind-fest, distorts into a rather “Evangelion”-era BEHEMOTH-esque slow, and then reignites into one final furious frenzy.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that there’s a one-trick pony pulling HORNED ALMIGHTY’s chariot around, but it also wouldn’t be telling the whole truth. There’s a solid method behind their now well-established style, and that makes their music consistent and welcomingly predictable for the most part. Their stripped-down style makes them move away from Progressive and Technical spectrums, but they reap their reward in the sheer aggression they can unleash without them. And a probably saving grace for HORNED ALMIGHTY is their sound quality, which unlike legions of their peers is well beyond clear enough to bring out the full sound of their attack. The only real downside is a somewhat lack of variety between songs, and that the first 3 songs are superior archetypes to the following tracks.

So you needn’t listen far into “World of Tombs” to figure out if HORNED ALMIGHTY’s diabolical wrath is to your taste or not. It’s definitively not for everyone, but if you do take a liking to their attack-only approach to Black Metal then the rest of the album should be a sadomasochistic pleasure of frenzied mayhem and absolute destruction.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. World Of Tombs
3. Diabolical Engines Of Torment
4. Unpure Salvations
5. Plague Propaganda
6. Of Flesh and Darkness
7. In Torture We Trust Pt. II
8. This Unholy Dwelling
9. Blessed By Foulness
10. Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay (digipack bonus track)
Lineup:
S - Preaching & Hellfire
Hellpig - Guitars
Haxen - Bass
Harm – Drums
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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