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Horrified - Sentinel

by Cherie Wong at 04 January 2020, 4:01 AM

On December 13, 2019, UK Death Metallers HORRIFIED released their fourth studio release “Sentinel.” This release is an EP, with 6 tracks totaling just over 30 minutes. The band’s 2017 offering “Allure of the Fallen” was well-received. Formed in 2012, HORRIFIED calls their style of metal “epic death.” To me, that sounds like melodic/progressive death metal with a bit of old school death metal sound.

What should you expect on this album? There are plenty of acoustic guitar passages and plenty of epic twin lead guitars playing tightly woven melodies. The “melodic” moniker doesn’t mean that it lacks aggression, though the aggression is somewhat subdued. The twangs of the bass guitar are actually audible throughout the album, sometimes even getting a solo, as opposed to being buried in the mix like it usually is. That is partly due to the bare-bones instrumentation. The album tracks are mostly driven by the guitar melody, with bass and drums serving as accents. Vocals are not death metal low gutturals, but instead are higher pitched screams.

The first track is “The Pessimist,” which is a solid opener because it exemplifies all that HORRIFIED does well. An acoustic guitar intro leads into tightly interwoven melodies played by twin guitars. Next is “Awaiting Restitution.” This track excels in the way the harmonizing melodies layer and evolves into the guitar solo and beyond. Something about the twin guitar harmonies on this track reminds me of classic heavy metal and its timelessness.

On the fourth track, we get a breather in the form of a mellow instrumental track “Celestial Tears.” Of note is the appearance of a brightly toned guitar melody. It stands out against the guitar tones heard in the rest of the album. “The Perceiver” is the closing track. Notably, the beginning contains a black metal riff, complete with blast beats. As it is slightly longer at over 7 minutes, the riffs and melodies have time to evolve and climax over the duration of the song.

Overall, I recommend this album, especially to fans of bands like DEATH, HORRENDOUS, and early IN FLAMES. HORRIFIED is an awesome discovery, as they occupy a niche that not many bands cater to. Simultaneously intricate with their harmonies and straightforward with their song structure, this album is enjoyable whether it’s your first or tenth listen. I look forward to hearing more from HORRIFIED.

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

4 Star Rating

1. The Pessimist
2. Awaiting Restitution
3. Crestfallen
4. Celestial Tears
5. Forgotten Thrones
6. The Perceiver
Dan Alderson – Vocals/Guitars
Dan Jordan – Guitars
Lee Anderson – Bass
Michael Jordan – Drums
Record Label: Testimony Records


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