Horned Almighty - To Fathom the Master's Grand Design
Scarlet Records
Black Metal
8 songs (36:21)
Release year: 2020
Horned Almighty, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Goat

Danish rocking black metal troupe Horned Almighty are back with yet another album - their sixth full-length - that both praises the dark lord and remembers to have plenty of fun along the way, joining such dark pleasures as Contaminating the Divine and Necro Spirituals. The band have been a personal favourite since being discovered way back in 2009, crafting black metal with a serious sense of rock n'roll, and they've become expert at crafting the sort of extreme but very catchy stomper sure to appeal to your average black metalhead. To Fathom... seems immediately heavier and faster than the last couple of albums, opening with a furious rush in Violent Cosmology and soon turning infectiously groovy. The band understand groove better than most, mixing their instruments well and giving the bass near equal footing with the guitars, even making it a vital element in tracks like Antagonism Eternal without lessening that essential extreme metal impact or diluting the technical mastery that makes such tracks as successful as they are.

And while even the slower, crawling chaos of Devouring Armageddon eventually manages to shoot into speedy power, there's plenty of space here and there to allow for doomy exploration, such as the mid-track breakdown of Punishment Divine. It rivals the galloping likes of Apocalyptic Wrath which barrels along with black/thrash power, changing tempos frequently but never lessening in intensity. Of course, plenty of tracks take the more straightforward black/thrash approach of the likes of Swallowed by the Earth, Aura Noir-esque in its focus and intensity even with a slower grooving section, and which keeps your ears pinned back even at the relatively long six-minute track length.

There's little to fault about To Fathom the Master's Grand Design, except perhaps for its slight lowering in quality compared to previous albums, to which it is merely fine. Sure, it's something only a real fan of the band would pick up on, and given how much fun can be had here does show just how good the Horned Almighty discography has been. And it's more of the same rather than anything new; yet there are no filler pieces and these Danes are so good at their craft that even a lesser album would still be a pleasure. So business as usual from Horned Almighty is still something to celebrate, and this is a good entry point into their catalogue for newcomers, as well as a welcome gift to fans.

Killing Songs :
Violent Cosmology, Antagonism Eternal, Punishment Divine
Goat quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Horned Almighty that we have reviewed:
Horned Almighty - World of Tombs reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Horned Almighty - Necro Spirituals reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Horned Almighty - Contaminating The Divine reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
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