Horrisonous – A Culinary Cacophony

Band: Horrisonous
Title: A Culinary Cacophony
Label: Memento Mori
Release Date: 19 January 2019
Country: Australia
Format reviewed: Digital Promo

Picture this: you wake up, confused, and you can’t see anything. You don’t remember where you are or what happened. The air is humid and cold and a faint smell of decay reaches your nostrils. Suddenly you become alert, trying to figure out where you are, but you can’t hear anything besides your heavy breath and thumping heart. You blindly grope for support to stand up. In the impenetrable darkness you feel a damp wall so you get on your feet. In the end you figure out you must be in a cave so you start following the wall with urgency, hoping it will lead to an exit. Every minute that passes in this natural sensory depravation chamber feels like hours and despair settles. Your walk turns into a dash but you stumble on something and come sprawling on the cold, stone floor. As you try to get yourself back up you freeze in fear. Right in front of you a few pair of bright orange lights cut the blackness, but soon you realise those lights look like they have life in them. They are eyes. You are face to face with an abomination that no man can see and still be sane. You try to scurry in the opposite direction but it’s too late. It grabs you and pulls you towards your certain death. Moments later something borrows deep in your side and warm blood stains the cavern as you are slowly eaten alive.

This short description might have brought to memory classic bands like Autopsy or Mortician, with the swampy, cavernous sound and gruesome imagery that fits in an ‘80s horror movie, but it fits perfectly well for the Australian outfit Horrisonous. The band formed in 2014 and “A Culinary Cacophony” is their debut and it consists of eight tracks, 41 minutes in total, of pure, filthy riffs and when you have titles like “Crispy Chunks of the Obese” you know you are in for a fun ride.

The first song is “Kuru worship” and it’s just how you expect it to sound, based on the gory cover. Most of the opener keeps a glacial doom pace, like predicting an impending doom, however at the end it erupts in a death metal display. From here on you expect how the rest of the album will play out. It’s just death/doom goodness, though there are a few notable moments and stylistic differences that make this album a bit more special. First off, I find the vocals very appealing. Rather than the standard guttural doom growl, vocalist Yonn McLaughlin predominantly uses some gnarly snarls that you could rather find in raw black metal. Secondly, there are passages that are really SLOW and just after they are over the song usually erupts in a torrent of double bass spiralling guitars, and this helps the overall asphyxiating atmosphere of the entire record. Also, there are a few surprises thrown into the mix, a good example being “A Tale of Matriphagy”, a song that is unmistakable more melodic compared to the others. These little things don’t intervene as to make the album feel disjointed, but rather it feels like a hunt for rotten easter eggs.

Overall, “A Culinary Cacophony” is a great debut that is free of frills and doesn’t shy to go for the throat with an enviable confidence. If you ever feel the need to let loose and have a bit of fun, Horrisonous should not be missing from your playlist. 8/10 Metal Gentleman

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