TROG – Horrors Beyond

141

TROG have given us an album that brings nothing but pure unadulterated joy and headbanging potential. The band deliver a highly groove laden blend of OSDM and thrash that draws on elements of black metal and hardcore. Listeners can expect killer riffs, thick bass, powerful commanding vocals and segments that are so groovy that they would make any pit go wild. If you are a death metal fan in any capacity then do not miss this one.

Artist: TROG

Album: Horrors Beyond

Label: Frozen Screams Imprint

Release Date: June 28th 2024

Location: New Jersey, United States

Written by James Sweetlove

Do you ever just put on an album for the first time and become overjoyed with how much fun you have listening to it? You don’t need to know the songs, you don’t need to know the lyrics or riffs, you just straight up love every second of the release. Well TROG have achieved that with Horrors Beyond, they’ve created a death metal record that guarantees plug and play enjoyment for any extreme metal fan.

What makes this album so incredibly enjoyable is the perfect use of groove that they’ve worked into OSDM and thrash metal instrumentals. They’ve also snuck in a few stupidly heavy breakdowns and some black metal influences. There’s plenty of raw, chaotic energy at play here, but the band balance that out with incredibly crafted groove laden melodies that allow the listener to headbang along with each and every track.

Each track also has a moment or couple of moments where things get equal parts heavier and groovier, these are the segments where you know the crowd would go absolutely insane in a live setting and the circle pit would reach maximum intensity. Knowing how and when to use these moments is a skill in itself, one that bands such as Cryptopsy have absolutely mastered. However unlike Cryptopsy TROG don’t make the audience work so hard or wait so long for these moments, you could say that they are generous hosts.

A key songwriting element that I enjoy on this album is the use of a central or key riff, a riff that defines the course and sound of a track and a riff that makes appearances throughout that particular track. I think the perfect example of this is track 4 Ritual Corpse Division, where you’ll hear the key riff right from the get go. It isn’t just using this riff that the band do well though, they incorporate it at just the right moments, making it so much more impactful.

Onto the specifics of the album, all of the instrumental elements are performed expertly as they perform their own essential roles in the mix. The album is very much guitar and bass led, with both TJ Coon and
Dan Erdenberger’s work sitting at the forefront of the mix and driving the albums energy and groove. The guitar tone used has a bite to it and just enough crunch to capture that OSDM sound, but its also clean enough that it makes those more melodic segments and the album’s solos really pop. The bass’ sound is fantastic, giving us a thick, bouncy tone with a massive depth of sound.

Drum wise Hudson Barth gives us a tonne of energy but also knows how to show restraint for atmospheric purposes. Without the drums the strings would have fare less energy to work off of, it really maintains momentum and brings a whole new level of power to the album’s overall delivery. Lastly I need to give a little praise to Hudson’s additional work on the synth, which really rounds out the album’s sound nicely and makes it that much more captivating.

Complimenting all of this are Pete Colucci’s vocals, which have a huge amount of power to them but remain somewhat understandable for the most part. They have just the right blend of barked and guttural delivery, the kind of vocals you want to see with OSDM style music. The vocals sit high in the mix but don’t overpower the instrumentals, allowing both to share the stage equally. Without his powerful delivery the album just wouldn’t pack nearly the same punch.

Overall I think that this was a killer death metal release and I can see big things in this band’s future. Many in the death metal scene are finally ready to admit that groove has the potential to make the music that much more enjoyable, and that while dissonant death metal is exciting and intense, maybe its starting to feel a little stale and overdone at this point. I appreciate any band that is able to take something classic and elevate it to feel fresh and exciting and that’s what has happened with Horrors Beyond.

Listen to and follow TROG:




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *