Horned Almighty [Denmark]
World of Tombs
With the past 2 albums being rather successful and garnering critical acclaim, one wonders what else Denmark’s Horned Almighty has in place for fans with their new album, World of Tombs. Unlike Contaminating the Divine and Necro Spirituals which were released a mere year apart, fans of the band waited for 4 full years for the band to finally drop their new album, and as with so many other bands, this anticipation has led to heightened expectations of the Danish outfit.
The introductory track almost tricks one into thinking that Horned Almighty has gone towards a more viking metal direction (not that it’s a bad thing, and more on this later), but as soon as the title track World of Tombs hits the listener, one is treated to some classic, old school death metal. The whole grim atmosphere, combined with that slight groove that the band has infused into the music quickly reminds one of the black ‘n’ roll works of bands such as Satyricon, especially with the simplistic and repetitive riffs unleashed by Hellpig and the energetic, and at times rather punkish drumming of Harm (which reminds me of Frost’s works), especially on tracks like Diabolical Engines of Torment and Plague Propaganda.
It is also this rather simplistic, no-nonsense and straightforward style of black metal that one is reminded of the earlier onslaughts of Bathory, before their eventual shift to more epic masterpieces. As a display of the range of influences and sounds that Horned Almighty has put into World of Tombs, there are moments on the album where one is reminded of more traditional black metal tracks like Sacrifice, while the thrashy, crossover edge at times also brings songs like Satan My Master to mind. The more diabolical tracks like Unpure Salvations even brings in some Marduk semblance, what with the aggression and anger.
The production is also what makes World of Tombs such a stellar release. The bass is mixed especially high on the record, and this helps to retain a punchy sound for the band, creating a lasting and deep impression on the listener.