Repulsion – “Horrified”


The making of Repulsion’s “Horrified”

released: 1989

label: Necrosis


Horrified. It’s both Repulsion’s genre-sparking album and the way enlightened metal fans will look at you should you admit ignorance of the fact—which is very well possible, seeing as Repulsion has always been a band that your favorite bands worshipped, but were somehow otherwise criminally unheard of. But make no mistake, evangelizers like Napalm Death, Carcass, Entombed, Terrorizer, At the Gates and others will tell you: One listen to Horrified—to the thrashing riffs and buzzsaw bass, the desperately screamed vocals and the incessant pounding (that legitimized a new drumbeat)—and you’ll see how it all started; you’ll visit the haunted cobwebbed attic of the genre we call grindcore.

Recorded in ’86, tape-traded for three years—beyond Repulsion’s demise—and released posthumously on Earache sub-label Necrosis in ’89, Horrified infected the burgeoning underground with an unheralded blend of hardcore and death metal, appealing to disparate scenes and transcending genre boundaries, effectively blurring them into a frenetic mess. It was a singularity, a leap in the evolution. Unpolished and unapologetic, its legacy of primitivism is just as relevant now in this digital age of perfection as it was back in the ’80s, when it was shocking enough to make tape decks tremble and listeners utter, “What the fuck is that?”

Decibel interrogated Scott Carlson, Matt Olivo, Aaron Freeman and Dave “Grave” Hollingshead for the story of Horrified: how it came to be and what it infamously went on to do.

—Matthew Widener

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