Having originally pledged allegiance to Floridian school of death metal, roving US four-piece Horrendous have used that base to chart their course in the nine years since. Fuelled on Death’s wound-fixated groove and ever more progressive leaning as well as the off-kilter, cosmos-questioning nature of Morbid Angel and Cynic, Horrendous have now become state of the art, a bridge between the scene’s visceral, writhing roots and the open-ended dynamics of its expansive outer rim.
Now the band are preparing to launch their fourth album, Idol, from the Season Of Mist (opens in new tab) mothership on September 28, and we have a special preview in the form of the track, The Idolater.
“The Idolater is the most direct expression of malaise on Idol, lyrically honing in on the despotic political figureheads that seem to be coming to power in the Western world,” says vocalist/guitarist Matt Knox. “While it is largely a reaction to the current political landscape of the US, I also wanted it to extend to past legacies of tyrannical control, whether from church or state, and the social climates that give birth to them. The 'tyrant' of the song, while applicable to our times, is also archetypal, reflecting the age-old cycles of power gained through intimidation and fear, and personal agency traded for a (false) sense of security. It all falls in line with the larger theme of the album of relinquishing one's power and self determination to the various Idols that surround us, and questioning our roles in sustaining them.
“Musically, the song is the most direct on the album,” he continues, “adhering to a more 'traditional' song structure with a verse and 'chorus' of sorts that anchor the song as it develops and briefly veers off in different musical directions. The music and lyrics are also closely intertwined, with complementary changes in tone, tempo and dissonance as the lyrical narrative progresses. I always loved songs that are a perfect reflection of the lyrical landscapes within them, where the music is an integral part of the 'story' of a song, and I think this is one of our best examples of it to date.”
Dive into the exquisite maelstrom of The Idolater below, and scroll down for the band’s intriguing introductions to the album’s themes as a whole!
"The cover art for Idol is a physical representation/manifestation of many of the themes found in the lyrics of the record," say the band. "It represents the great 'idols' to which we fall prey - whether they be personal demons and doubts to which we willingly relinquish power, or external, antagonistic political and social forces that seem to be growing each day around us. The creature on the cover represents both aspects of this loss of agency and the general feeling of malaise I think so many people (some far more than others) feel; it is an enormous, horrifying and imposing monstrosity replete with jagged teeth (a nice physical manifestation of the often spiralling, angular and jarring compositions on the record) and alien features. Additionally, the head of the monster seems to be transforming into an alien landscape of misshapen skyscrapers and chaotic, abstract streets. This further highlights the sense of alienation that permeates the lyrics and establishes a great visual metaphor representing the monstrous fortresses we build in our minds whenever we submit to toxic, destructive patterns of thinking."
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