Review: “Ritual” by Murderhorde

Witness the aftermath of a dark ritual performed by an ancient people, the consequences of which shapes the status quo for millennia to come” ~ Murderhorde

Originally starting out as a full band before being boiled down to the bare essentials, Newport News, Virginia’s Murderhorde is currently a duo comprising drummer Joey Ambrosia and multi instrumentalist Michael Velazquez. After a wealth of prior convictions in multiple genres including The Arctic, To The Floor and Lust, this new project represents something of  a return to roots after years of working on several different solo projects for Velazquez, who wrote, recorded and completed an initial mix of the bands debut EP at his home studio. The completed works were then given to Shawn Rayment at SDR Audio Production in the UK for additional drum mixing, post mixing and mastering…

While those prior convictions were in everything from Progressive Metal to DJent and even Pop Punk as the cover art depicts, the work of Murderhorde is of far darker intent. Sat cross legged in the centre of a Bermuda triangle of Death Metal, Metal and Metalcore, “Ritual” is a nightmarish vision in black, the sound of the waves crashing on a rocky cliff face during a storm in the depths of the blackest of nights. While Ambrosia might not have written the drum parts, his performance at the kit is one of pure blood and thunder with bursts of furious blast beats, jackhammer footwork and groove laden fills executed to perfection over Velazquez’s churning riffage and blood curdling vocals. The path to all out destruction is marked by the trail of the dead by the time mid EP offering “Connection Severed” hits, it’s swirling, turbulent riffs with stuccato moments marking the territory in blood. It stands apart due to lyrics written by former vocalist Jack Bryant which have a different flow to those written by Velazquez but delivered by the masterminds razor sharp tongue, they are just as brutally effective as the rest because no matter the lyrics, the performance is a lethal dose of American hatred. The craftsmanship that has gone into these songs is second to none with that prior experience counting double here while the influences have a tendency to bleed through despite the bands distinctive style. Finale “Memento Mori” has parts that are classic 2003 Metalcore era, as if performed by It Dies Today, thinly veiled by the brutal unclean vocals while elsewhere the longer turn around in the riffs has a more Progressive Metalcore leaning but the spine juddering breakdowns are delicious and all that perhaps is lacking is a little bit of polish [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Intrepid Decay
  2. Galvanizer
  3. Connection Severed
  4. Shackles of Humanity
  5. Memento Mori

Ritual” by Murderhorde is out now and available over at bandcamp

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