The Black and the Brutalful

June 4, 2015


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From the opening intro, with the epic guitar leads and pounding drums, I knew I was in for a treat. The instrumentation here is pretty glorious in scope. There is a strong foundation of melodic death metal and thrash metal, but there are brutal and blackened death influences as well. I tend to associate those “Babylonian-sounding” riffs with Behemoth, and there a few of those marching through the mix with banners waving.

Oh yeah, by the way this is The Hudson Horror out of New York. I got so wrapped up in that first song I almost forgot to introduce today's album, Nemesis. This is some face-punching, mosh-pit inducing death metal poised to get the battery acid pumping and your foot tapping. It's been a good week for new releases on Bandcamp, and this is no exception.

I enjoy the range in the vocal performance. The high screeches are reminiscent of everything from The Black Dahlia Murder to At the Gates, while the lows are every bit as brutal as the Corpsegrinder himself. As someone who is a fan of growls that beat my skull in, but not the overall aesthetic of brutal death metal, I really enjoyed the combination of these vocals with the melodic death riffs.

Both the drumming and bass work are also quite solid. I tend to forget about the poor bass players of the world, but part of the problem is I either can't hear them or they just follow the guitar melody and add little beyond low end. Fortunately on Nemesis, it rumbles around quite audibly, but not so much as to distract from the other instruments. Meanwhile, the vicious kick drum and tom fills are a Mack truck careening through waves of zombies.

If you were in need of something that scratches the itch for both the melodic and the barbarous, look no further. The Hudson Horror are even capable of slowing things down (I use that phrase very loosely) with tracks like “Anathema” and “Heretic” that reminded me of Wages of Sin-era Arch Enemy. The former track even has an interesting, jazzy interlude. Nemesis may not be a new revelation to metal music, but damned if they don't do it better than most of the major label stuff I have heard in the past few years. That said, I see this band going places, and I pray that they don't lose their blackened soul in the process.