Philly’s filthiest and finest progressive death metal band already gave us a glimpse at their new album. Now, HORRENDOUS are leading us deeper inside ‘Ontological Mysterium’ with “Cult of Shaad’oah”.
“Beat me back, but I’ll keep on climbing!” That’s how the band kicks off the album’s second single. They’re so eager to crack skulls that they’re practically foaming at the mouth.
Prepare for brutal ascent, indeed. “Cult of Shaad’oah” is a blazing onslaught of bombastic, old-school death metal. It sounds like carving your way up Mount Doom with the evil sword from Soulcaliber. Cymbals crash and ping, while dueling leads race toward a fiery death.
Here’s what the band has to say about “Cult of Shaad’oah”: “This song is a symbolic quest through the wastes of doubt and slumbering awareness. Its nameless hero ascends from the underworld to the heights of the gods, daring to penetrate the outer reaches of the universe itself and become master of all”.
Let your chariots ride this July, when HORRENDOUS saddle up and smash the Southwest.
07/06: Houston, TX @ Black Magic
07/07: Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
07/08: San Antonio, TX @ Bonds
07/09: Dallas, TX @ Double Wide
07/11: El Paso, TX @ Rockhouse Bar & Grill
07/13: Tempe, AZ @ Metalheads Clubhouse
07/14: Los Angeles, CA @ Knucklehead*
07/15: San Diego, CA @ Tower Bar*
07/16: Long Beach, CA @ Supply and Demand*
07/17: Atascadero, CA @ Dark Nectar*
07/18: Sacramento, CA @ The Colony*
07/19: Santa Rosa, CA @ Arlene Francis Center*
07/20: Oakland, CA @ Thee Stork Club*
* with special guests PENURY.
1. The Blaze (02:00)
2. Chrysopoeia (The Archaeology of Dawn) (07:16)
3. Neon Leviathan (03:30)
4. Aurora Neoterica (01:56)
4. Preterition Hymn (03:58)
5. Cult of Shaad’oah (05:24) [WATCH HERE]
6. Exeg(en)esis, (03:38)
7. Ontological Mysterium (04:44) [WATCH HERE]
8. The Death Knell Ringeth (05:20)
Total run time: 37:44
“Surprises always come up during writing — spontaneous ideas pull you into new territory and enable the realization of novel possibilities that previously were inaccessible.”
Such are the words from Horrendous drummer Jamie Knox when discussing the creation of the band’s fifth full-length, the highly anticipated ‘Ontological Mysterium’. Knox’s quote also encapsulates Horrendous’s approach to extreme metal. Since 2009, the band has capably tapped into the inaccessible by providing a fresh, unconventional take on death metal that harnesses technical brilliance with elaborate, mind-melding melodies, frothy, spewing vocals and labyrinthine song structures. This combination has made each Horrendous long play a clinic in the gratifyingly unorthodox. The trend continues on Ontological Mysterium.
The follow-up to 2018’s Idol was recorded, mixed and mastered at Subterranean Watchtower Studios in Virginia, which doubles as the homestead of guitarist/vocalist Damian Herring. While the band (completed by guitarist/vocalist Matt Knox and bassist Alex Kulick) finished much of the songwriting for Ontological Mysterium in 2019, its recording was delayed by the 2020 global pandemic and various life events. Horrendous eventually finished recording in early 2022 and mastered the album before the start of 2023.
The album upholds Horrendous’s position as one of the underground’s best outside-of-the-box extreme metal bands. Having long abandoned concern whether people would appreciate their “uniqueness,” Horrendous has embraced its role as a band willing to veer far from death metal conventions, intentionally stretching and breaking norms. To wit, the band primarily views its music as filtered through a death metal lens. This may be Horrendous’s defining trait: By not accepting parameters, nothing is off-limits.
Damian Herring – Guitar, Vocals
Matt Knox – Guitar, Vocals
Alex Kulick – Bass
Jamie Knox – Drums
Producer / Sound Engineer / Mixing / Mastering: Damian Herring at Subterranean Watchtower Studio, Arlington, VA, USA
Style: Progressive death metal
Cover art: Brian Smith
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