Big, angry, and relentless are words that I love tossing around in a positive connotation with regards to disgustingly heavy bands. Beatdown deathcore act, Horned, out of Marseille, France are far from an exception with their latest full-length release Eminence, but simultaneously shows that consistency can be both an asset and a detriment in the world of fucking the soul of your auditory canals. This and more on today’s episode of “why can’t this guy stop being a picky asshole when he writes a review.”
Horned embody all things that preach the gospel of beatdown. Utter ferocity and blunt force trauma akin to the violence of more recently popular acts like Jesus Piece or Code Orange, yet reminiscent of the onslaught of tremolo picking, blast beats, and subsequent down tempo breakdowns of bands like Xibalba and Despised Icon. Straight from opening track “Emperor,” it’s clear that “heavy as can be,” is the goal here. Fast forward to a clip of an iconic Al Pacino moment that chimes in “The Last Humanist.” Continue to push through and finally find yourself at closing self-titled track “Horned,” feeling like the message of “heavy as fuck” has been relayed. This may seem like an oversimplification of the occurrences in this record, and that is purely because the effort seamlessly trudges through one track to the next on a Quentin Tarantino level journey of pillaging and carnage. By no means am I accusing these dudes of being boring, but with streamlined sensory overload genres like beatdown and deathcore, the game changer of contrast is what sets the one-time listen from the attendees of the yearly top ten.
Eleven tracks on this record, beautifully mixed and mastered, packaged nicely with the aforementioned bell and whistle, and for the millionth time, sitting on the pinnacle of what we know today as “heavy.” Some people live for staying in the ambience of endless auditory assault, of whom I applaud for their ability to lose themselves in the sound equivalent of a strobe light show while suffering from epilepsy, but to me, this record needed something to break rank. I will give you this though. I’m most definitely watching fucking Devil’s Advocate tonight.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*Edited by Dominic Abate