December 30, 2023

Horrendous played Saint Vitus

Death metal band Horrendous celebrated their latest album with a release show at Brooklyn's hallowed Saintt Vitus.

Despite releasing their new album this past August, (one of my favorite records of the year) Horrendous are just now celebrating its release with a string of shows that included a stop at the almighty Saint Vitus in Brooklyn. Taking the stage to the opening track from Ontological Mysterium, the death metal act churned up some serious energy from the crowd and as they picked up their axes and settled behind the drums, the quartet sized up the audience and then began to unleash their brutal riffs and heavy, thrashing solos. "Chrysopoeia (The Archeology of Dawn)" reigned down with supreme force and blasting riffs, the band chugging along with extreme power and also a serious look of pure joy. With the bass player and one guitarist in near matching Judas Priest shirts (one a baseball tee and the other a crop top covered by an acid washed denim vest), their love of 80's metal was reinforced with their high-flying sound that saw guitars soar and drums pummel as they whipped their hair with at a break-neck speed. On the floor, the crowd ate it up and the ever-expanding pit soon felt like it would swallow the club whole. Only a few songs into the set, I saw a man emerge covering his face which I assumed was due to crowd closeness, but it was revealed it was to cover his heavily bleeding nose. This was not one for the light-hearted, but despite that brief occurrence, the crowd did actually do a great job of keeping one another safe and everything was well contained, yet still full of rage. Dueling vocals between guitarists made for a compelling take and twist on their ravaged words and made for an engaging set that was pumped with rocket blasts of tumultuous metal. Pushing past the boundaries of death metal and incorporating thrash trademarks and proggy basslines, the band has taken on tremendous growth on their latest album and we were reminded of this as they dug into the past to play old favorites, songs that still hit with horrific, punishing tendencies, but don't expand with the same purpose and power of their newer tunes. After the band announced their final song, the crowd enthusiastically called for an encore and had the musicians strap their gear back on and crush through one final number as the night raged on for one last moment. By the end it was clear that both the men onstage and the various people in the crowd felt an affirmation delivered with sonic force and integrity and the love for metal carried the torch throughout the night. It was a tremendous affair full of guts and glory and left nothing on the table. 

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