Horrid Apparition – Evil Reigns

Band: Horrid Apparition
Title: Evil Reigns (demo)
Label: Redefining Darkness Records
Release Date: 30 August 2019
Country: France
Format: Digital Download

Some years ago I worked in a bookshop alongside a guy who was (and still is) the bass player for a local band who were at that time were just starting out, but have gone on to be pretty successful (they’re four albums in now and regularly tour internationally). One time he gave me a copy of their demo, interested to hear my feedback. I remember listening to the recording and thinking ‘this sounds like CLUTCH, not any particular CLUTCH songs, but sounds like music CLUTCH would make’. I guess I gave him a bit of a complex about it, as a while later he told me that when they would be jamming on new music and happen to be sounding a bit like CLUTCH, I’d appear in his head making disapproving sounds. They’re a cool band and I like their music, but what can I say? They sounded a hell of a lot like CLUTCH.

HORRID APPARITION are totally upfront about their influences, citing BATHORY and SLAYER as inspiration. I must admit I’m not the greatest authority on BATHORY beyond their reputation, but I know SLAYER and even before I read the band’s bio, the SLAYER reference point was readily apparent. With such a clear line of reference from one band to another the question arises: does this band stand up on their own, or are they just recycling old ideas done better? Having only this the band’s first two-track demo, I have to say I hear great potential, and despite the clear debt owed to SLAYER this is a great slab of raw, hammering, in your face, thrash metal and an intriguing taster of where this young band may be heading.

Seemingly a duo, Elio Cogo provides guitar and vocals (and bass too I’m guessing), while Rene Aquarius handles the drumming. At least I think that’s their names. From other sources they’re listed just as ‘E’ and ‘R’. Both E and R come to HORRID APPARITION out of a number of other musical projects. According to their Bandcamp page guitars, vocals and drums were all recorded in separate studios. Pretty impressive, as these tracks sound like a tight band playing in unison. Bravo to modern mixing methods I say.

Probably a large part of why the SLAYER association feels so strong is E’s vocal delivery here being uncannily like Tom Araya’s. While there are passages of both opener Baphomet and track two Evil Reigns that seem to draw pretty heavily from a SLAYER template of riff delivery, there’s more than enough finesse in the playing and gung-ho energy to carry this along on its own terms. To be honest the two tracks flow pretty seamlessly from one to the next, both being a non-stop thrash charge, but I’ve no complaints, for what a fine trashing charge it be. Satisfyingly raw and dirty in sound without being murky, the drumming is crisp and powerful, while the guitars gleefully send quivering thrash lines flying out like white-hot shards of metal.

It’s catchy, it’s propulsive, it’s energizing, and it’s all too brief. HORRID APPARITION you’ve got the moves, so let’s see what else you’ve got in the tank. And if the next offering sounds like SLAYER too, there’ll be no complaints from me. This is prime, gritty Thrash Metal as it should be. 8.5/10 Tom Boatman

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8.5/10 To Greatness and Glory
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