Horned Almighty - World of Tombs
Scarlet Records
Black Metal
10 songs (38:31)
Release year: 2014
Horned Almighty, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Goat

It's interesting to follow a band like Danish hellraisers Horned Almighty over time, as I have with Metal Reviews. As much as their brand of altogether righteously rocking black metal hasn't changed over time, there are subtle ways in which it has, and fifth album World of Tombs shows this off well. According to some, black metal should be like Blut Aus Nord's latest release (also reviewed this week) – stately, epic, grandiose, serious. Yet the genre has a distant, embarrassing relative in punk, and although some bands want to see this aspect of their sound quashed as much as possible, the filthier, more 'fun' bands like Carpathian Forest and Horned Almighty revel in it.

This makes for a type of black metal that's more immediate and catchy, yet one which still has many internal divisions – look at the difference between Norwegian groovesters Khold and Horned Almighty, for example. Horned Almighty pay more attention to speed and fury than Khold, fast and blasting, yet manage to lock into a sort of similarly atmospheric sound. Blessed by Foulness is a good example, slower and groovier than the average track here, but those grooving black metal + Pantera riffs are more rock n'roll than Khold ever dared approach. Elsewhere, the band nearly hit black/death territory at moments, and the inclusion of Autopsy cover Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay (originally opening 1991's Mental Funeral) would seem to confirm this.

Yet by far, the majority of tracks here ramp up the speed and are closer to blackened thrash a la Aura Noir than anything even approaching Behemoth and the like. The hideously infectious Diabolical Engines of Torment is a great example, blasting along merrily with even a widdly solo. This is music made for headbanging first and foremost, and anything that will encourage that is brought to bear, from Unpure Salvations' sudden tempo shifts to Of Flesh and Darkness' crushing riffage, more Impaled Nazarene than Immortal. And it's all terrifically fun to listen to, moreso even than the last Impaled Nazarene album in instantaneous blackened delight thanks to songs like In Torture We Trust pt 2.

Obviously if you're new to the band, then you should buy this or previous opus Necro Spirituals and get your headbang on pronto, yet even those familiar with the band will find this latest slice of blackened rocking metal to their satisfaction. Horned Almighty deserve to be much bigger than they are for enthusiasm alone; that the music is pretty damned good is a bonus. Recommended for black metal fans who like to headbang.

Killing Songs :
World of Tombs, Diabolical Engines of Torment, Plague Propaganda, Blessed by Foulness
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Horned Almighty that we have reviewed:
Horned Almighty - To Fathom the Master's Grand Design reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 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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