I have the music of Luci Horroble on my mind this morning as his bandmate Christine dropped me an email about the recent publication of Slash of Crimson. One nice thing about putting out a novella appears to be reacquainting with friends. Truth be told, I have not yet met these two folks in person (wish I had, because I would have autographs…). Instead I know them from writing a review of their CD Death of Ghost a few years ago. Luci Horroble is no newcomer to the metal scene. He used to play guitar for Norwegian metal band Ancient, and as a guitar-virtuoso friend of mine once said, his solos have quite a killer vibrato…
In the future I would like to talk music more on this blog, particularly hard rock and metal and various other niche music genres, as they’ve inspired my writing a great deal. For now, enjoy this review of Horroble’s album Death of Ghost:
Death of Ghost—‘Better Than You Know, When You Sell Your Soul’
Horroble’s debut album Death of Ghost proves it’s possible to be at once aggressive and seductively hypnotic. Beginning with Looking For Your Grave, full of eerie vocal harmonies and thrusting guitar riffs, Horroble tears into the ear with a brutal, vampiric bliss. And they aren’t afraid to take a few measures to build the atmosphere á la old Sabbath. Payoff follows swiftly with intricate choruses that are wickedly melodic and hit like a clawed left hook.
Lyrically they lay out a fearless parade of mayhem and depravity. It’s one thing for a band to sing about death. It’s another to savor it on the tongue, then swallow it straight and ask for another shot. Repeat and repeat until voila, you have the killer refrain of Red Hell. At the same time, in tracks like Bitten, the lyrics promote a kind of rugged self-reliance. It throws a confident twist into vocals that echo early Bauhaus and range from the sarcastic to the wistful and darkly erotic.
Indeed, the striking melody of the chorus of Drinking The Blood, along with its claim that “Things are better than you know/When you sell your soul”, proves that Horroble is out to shake up the dark music scene and leave their mark of unapologetic, blood-drinking confidence. The sweetness is enticing and the chords powerful. Be you incubus or succubus you could take a lesson in temptation from Horroble’s wicked refrains…
With a rhythm section leaning a little more toward rock’n’roll than one gets in metal’s more noise-oriented subgenres, Horroble offers an abyss with a groove. And they are not afraid to kick off a song with a guitar solo, managing to keep things catchy while experimenting with song structure. Throughout the album they use the lead guitar in a subtly fresh way. The solo in My Friends warps suddenly into hard-boned speedmetal bucking against a tender, pop-sweet background. Such contrast sneaks up and seizes the listener pleasantly by surprise. Yes, lead guitarist Luci’s solos will raise they eyebrows of Kirk Hammett and Dimebag Darrell fans alike.
The final track, The Death, puts a bit of the ‘mental’ in experimental. I’m not saying put on the headphones, swallow some acid and stare at a photonegative of The Pope in a nursing home full of corpses—just that you’ll enjoy its phantasmagoric, horror-show-esque trip. Think neo-gothic version of the Doors’ ‘The End’. The track proves that this band has a breadth of style that holds more promise than a legion of whispering demons.
So bring on the musical massacre, bring on the slaughter with a spacey dash of sparkles—Horroble’s taking murderglam to a twisted new level. The carnival of carnality is worth the price; it promises to rock the cemetery for visitors and residents alike.