English death-mongering quartet Horrified are on the brink of detonating their new album of of melancholic rage (due out March 25 on Stormspell Records), and they want you to hear it here first. Their hectic rhythms and sawed-off melodies burn brightly through all eight neck-jarring songs, serving the two masters of raw aggression and contemplation of the abyss. Of the creation process, guitarist/vocalist Dan Alderson has said, “I wanted to write music that could be just as emotionally involving as well as outright savage.”
Message received and mission accomplished. While you punch walls and kick over furniture to the album stream below, be sure to check out Alderson’s expanded commentary on how this chapter of Horrified’s history-in-the-making all came together.
You mentioned that this album represents a shift of focus since your debut… Do you think your purpose for playing this kind of music has shifted since the band started?
Not necessarily, I feel like our goals as a band will stay the same throughout our career, no matter how much we evolve or progress.
What kind of heavy music scene do you exist in? How much support do you have of other bands working in the same geographical area?
Our scene within the North East of England is extremely active and very supportive. In places it is a little inbred, with some bands sharing a few members and such. People like to get involved in any way they can. You have very enthusiastic promoters who are dedicated to their cause here, and the fans are active; turnouts to shows are always good. I guess we’re one big family all helping each other out and making the scene run the way it does. Bands, ourselves included, are always willing to lend gear for a gig to run even if they aren’t playing a show. It’s generally just a really positive scene with plenty of talent and full of great personalities.
What is your favorite part of Horrified: writing new songs, recording music, or performing shows? What have you enjoyed (or hated) about any of the above?
This is a hard question to answer, I do love writing when ideas and inspiration are aplenty. Having an arrangement come to life, especially those heavily layered sections we have incorporated into our material recently, is awesome. On the flipside, writing is obviously terrible when you really want to come up with stuff but just can’t. The recording element also has a similar dynamic, seeing a release grow over time is a special feeling. However, all the stress and hard work recording good performances can take its toll. Playing shows is always fun when they are well-run, involving a relevant bill and with a decent turnout. Most gigs we played have been good, as I’ve used my experience from past bands for quality control for what gig offers we take up. I have played some terrible shows in the past in former bands because of a lack of this. But it has been different for Horrified. I don’t think I could pick one element as my outright favorite, I just love doing this band in general.
Bruce Turnbull’s vocals on “Funeral Pyres” stand out immediately. How did he end up on the song?
We have been good friends for a while and used to play in Starborn together. I love Edge of Sanity, who were obviously a big influence on this record. While writing the material we talked about getting some Swanö-esque clean vocals in somewhere and the closing section of that song called for it.
What music do you most enjoy listening to right now? Do you think it influences the way you write or is your creative approach any different from the music you choose to listen to?
I’m actually on a bit of a doom / melodeath kick at the moment. I can’t stop spinning bands like October Tide, Saturnus and Warning. I obviously love that melody-driven style of black metal like Sacramentum, Unanimated and Dissection who are always a go to. My favorite active band are Horrendous, who I listen to almost daily sometimes. Ecdysis is probably my favorite album of all time nowadays. I think I thrive on a lot of negativity when it comes to creating music, my playlist does usually inspire me in a similar way. However I can also be listening to completely different stuff when I’m in a writing phase. So I wouldn’t say I’m only inspired by other music when it comes to creating, although it is a big factor.
After the album is released, what do you think (or hope) the rest of 2016 looks like for Horrified?
To play as many shows as possible and promote the release on the live front as hard as we can. We also have began writing for a new release as a bit of a follow up to Of Despair, which we hope to have recorded in the autumn. We just want the album to be heard, and reach out to as many people as possible.