Sunday, April 1, 2018

Horrorscope - "Altered Worlds Practice" (Defense Records, 2017)

Band: Horrorscope
Title: Altered Worlds Practice
Genre: Thrash/Groove Metal
Year: 20th October 2017
Time: 46 min
Rating: 86/100

It's incredible but I have still to review a 2018 release on these pages! In fact, the loooong series of reviews about the 2017 releases continue today with "Altered Worlds Practice", the 7th full-lenght album by Horrorscope, an excellent and prolific quintet from Poland existing since 1997 (without counting their first incarnation in 1996 as Disonance). As Formis and Leech, also Horrorscope belong to the mega-pack of CDs that Marcin from Mythrone Promotion sent to me some months ago. This means that, with this review, I am going to end the series about that pack of Defense Records releases.

"Altered Worlds Practice" is one of those albums that never bore the listeners. This because Horrorscope shows everytime a creative thrash metal with a lot of winning ideas and taking inspirations from many different genres but without creating a chaotic mess. Especially, two songs fully represent their kind of style: "Delicious Hell" and "Direction: Backwards".
Well, "Delicious Hell" (curiously, even the 6th album by the band is titled in this way) is really dynamic. It ranges from extreme fast parts also in blast-beat to melodic mid-tempos with clean vocals that are excellently alternated with the usual rude and raucous vocals by Baryla. There is a very good interaction between the guitars so to create imaginative layered riffs bringing also to play heavy metal-oriented solos even able to move the listeners. And last but not least, there is a short acoustic part that bring to an atmospheric passage full of sadness and melancholy.

"Direction: Backwards" is even more dynamic and exciting than "Delicious Hell". This because it includes intense thrashing parts with dissonant and schizoid riffs, some blast-beats with demented guitar solos, djent passages à la Meshuggah...and expect also other parts that are so despairingly melodic to be very fit for a ballad! The song concludes with a mega-atmospheric acoustic guitar an excellent way to end this album, even though the real last track is nothing else than the cover of "Wolverine Blues" by Entombed. To say the truth, I consider it a bit useless because "Direction: Backwards" could be totally perfect to definitely end this album but that's it (it's also true that Horrorscope have the tendency to offer a cover song at the end of their album). Here below there is the fantastic animated video just made for "Direction: Backwards"!
Other standout tracks of mine are "Parallel Worlds Practice", that is mostly a mid-tempo with some fantastic riffs and an imaginative and ultra-fast guitar solo by the Chilean guest Sergio Klein (Criminal, The Outside); and the following "Countdown of the Mad", notable for its wicked fast parts with some dark slow passages with arpeggios and hallucinated choruses by the guest vocalist Dorian "Dodo" Klosek. But, at the moment, I mentioned only two other songs of an album that offers a lot to the listeners!

The most nice thing of this album is that it is truly fuckin' full of very good riffs, engaging choruses (especially the one that embellish "Der Jäger"!) and interesting solutions, so "Altered Worlds Practice" is a continuous discovery for the listeners that wants creativity and intensity at the same time, even though some ultra-melodic clean vocals can be appeared a bit mushy for the most old-school metal fans like me. Additionally, I realized that, after a faster song, there is always a track more focused on mid/slow tempos (as shown especially by "Chaos Approved" - here below its video - and "The Jynx", that sometimes reminds me a lot of the groove metal of Sepultura!), in order to offer a well balanced tracklist. That's all folks, take a chance to "Altered Worlds Practice"...also only to enjoy its magnificent and spacey cover artwork made by Natalia Jonderko!

1 - Headhunters are Back
2 - Parallel Worlds Practice
3 - Countdown of the Mad
4 - Chaos Approved
5 - Delicious Hell
6 - The Jynx
7 - Der Jäger (Striking with Impunity)
8 - Addicted to Fear
9 - Direction: Backwards
10 - Wolverine Blues (Entombed cover)


Adam "Baryla" Bryłka - vocals
Lech "Blackpitfather" Śmiechowicz - guitars
Lukasz "Lukas" Gac - guitars
Krzysztof "Xycho" Klosek - bass
Piotr "Pienał" Pęczek - drums

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