Horrified: Band Of The Day

By on 9 October 2014


The North East England extreme metal scene has became so vibrant again in recent years and is stronger than ever it seems. One of the latest bands from my home region to make a big impression on me is local old school death metallers Horrified, who despite still being a bunch of young guys have already served time and gained valuable experience over recent years with bands such as Plague Rider, Winds Of Genocide, Dawn Of Chaos, Risen Prophecy and Live Burial which is quite an impressive CV of local bands.

After a well received debut demo the band took the logical step to record their debut full length album ‘Descent Into Putridity’ which will soon be unleashed by Spanish deathcult Memento Mori and will appeal to fans of the classic Swedish and European early ’90s death metal heyday.

I decided to make the putrid descent into the realms of ancient death and ask founder/guitarist/vocalist Dan Alderson some questions.

WORDS: Kat Gillham

WHO ARE THEY: Horrified
WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Newcastle/Durham, England
FOR FANS OF: Autopsy, Carcass, Cancer, Death, Dead Congregation, Dismember, Edge of Sanity, Entombed, Immolation, Gorguts, Morbid Angel, Pestilence,
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Descent Into Putridity’ (Memento Mori, October 2014)
WEBSITE: Facebook & Bandcamp

Hails! Please give us a quick background history on the band and introduce the current line up.
Dan (Alderson, guitar/vocals): “Hails! The band started off as a way for me to write more old school sounding death metal than my main band at the time, Plague Rider, which was playing more in the style of Atheist etc. I recorded a three track demo with help from some very good friends and then we were asked if we could play Byker Grave Festival last December, so I got a band together for it, then we recorded our debut album ‘Descent Into Putridity’ with this line up through the months of February to March.”

You started out as a one man band – what made you decide to expand the project into a fully fledged band and take it to the stage?
Dan: “Well I guess it comes back to initially being asked to play the show last year, then after that the rest of the members wanted to carry on working on this project so it just naturally progressed into a “real” band that way.”

Your first recording was a demo recorded all by yourself if I’m not wrong, please tell the readers about this. Is it still available?
Dan: “I actually had help from some very good friends recording the three track. Phil Aunger and Lee Higgins recorded some sessions whilst I tracked the guitar parts. Lee also co-mixed and mastered the demo with me. Without his help it would have never turned out the way it did. Availability wise it is on local DIY label Tomb in The Valley Production’s bandcamp page for a name your price download. We did a run of 50 CD copies through them as well which have nearly sold out. I believe a few of them are left that went to Imminent Destruction Record’s distro.”

You recently recorded your debut album ‘Descent Into Putridity’ with the full line up, please tell the readers what they can expect from this debut full length offering in your own words. Are you very satisfied with how it turned out?
Dan: “You can expect an onslaught of riff based death metal influenced by Florida style US death metal, such as early Death, Gorguts and Morbid Angel, infused with the gut throat approach of European acts like Dismember, Grave, Consuming Impulse era Pestilence and some slight Death/Thrash influenced Demolition Hammer moments. I am extremely proud and satisfied with this record, it holds a lot of “firsts” for my own personal music career and I am very happy with the end product.”

The album has been picked up for release by Spanish deathcult Memento Mori, how did this collaboration come about? When will the album be unleashed (upon mankind?) What do you expect from this collaboration?
Dan: “I had the label owner Raul on Facebook for a while. I sent him a track from our demo and explained I was recording an album his label might be interested in. He enjoyed the track and said to keep him updated. I kept him in the loop with how the record was coming along. When I had a finished mix I sent it to him with a basic master and he responded with an offer for the current record deal we are holding with them. I am extremely honoured to have this album released through this label. The album’s release is scheduled for sometime in October. I’m still unsure of the exact release date, but the album is completely finished and we have a promotional track from the album up for streaming which we put up on the first of September. I expect the label to promote the release to the right people and cult following of old school death metal fans; the record will be marketed to the exact crowd I’d want it heard by.”

Where was the album recorded at?
Dan: “I recorded the album in my university’s studios; the John Marley Centre which is located in the west end of Newcastle.”

It has been mastered by Javier Felez at Moontower in Spain, how did that come about? Are you pleased with his contribution to your album?
Dan: “I was completely blown away by the finished masters from Javier. I was happy with how the album sounded at the finished mix stage and his work really brought the album to life, with a really bright, razor-sharp crisp sound and a crushing yet dynamic final master. The deal with Memento Mori included mastering from this studio and I am extremely chuffed with the final sound.”

Please tell us a bit about the writing and recording process?
Dan: “For this album I completely wrote four of the seven tracks. The other three tracks were written by a good friend of mine Matt Inman, who is in a progressive metal band from London called Whetstone. We always sent material back and forth over the net and when going into recording the album I came up with the idea of writing the rest of the album together via the internet. It’s something we have talked about doing for a long time. The rest of the band for this release attacked the songs and came up with their own parts for the record. We recorded the drums to guide and click tracks, then did bass, guitars, leads then vocals as overdubs.”

Who designed the album cover?
Dan: “Vincent Helmkamp (Necromanic Artworks). We are very pleased with the work he did for us.”

Lyrically, what inspires you to put pen on paper?
Dan: “The music acts as a base to tell a horror story based on different concepts and ideas I get from all walks of life and other art such as films and games and of course my own personal struggles. I come up with my own concepts and scenarios through these things. Sometimes I even base them on original ideas I see in my head.”

Why the band name Horrified? What do you want to evoke in people’s consciousness with this name?
Dan: “The simple answer is I chose the name Horrified because I thought it sounded cool and “old school” sounding haha. I am aware there have been a few bands under the same name in the past, but we are the only currently active one. I want people to experience the sheer horror and fear afflicted by anxiety and other mental conditions suffered by us as a race through the lyrical concepts and my vocal style and I think the band name perfectly reflects our style and concept.”

What bands fuel and shape the overall sound of Horrified influence wise and made you want to play old school death metal in the first place?
Dan: “Well I think I went through our influences well enough in an earlier question. This style of death metal is just my musical vision, it’s what comes to me naturally as a player and a writer. Newer bands such as Dead Congregation, Horrendous and Skeletal Remains who carry on this style of metal into the modern age with integrity and vision inspire me to be apart of this current old school death metal resurgence and hopefully leave my own stylistic stamp on things.”

Will you be active on the live front once the album is released?
Dan: “Yes, I want to organise an album release show sometime in November in our local scene and we are taking part in the Memento Mori showcase weekender planned in February. I want to gig every once in a while through the year when its worth it, but the main focus of this band will always to be practising and pushing ourselves to make the best records we possibly can.”

Describe Horrified in five words only.
Dan: “True Riff Based Death Metal”

What is your opinion on the current death metal scene/ Are there many newer bands out there worshipping at the altar of ancient death metal you feel an “affinity” with?
Dan: “The current death and overall extreme metal scene is in great shape in my opinion. There are a lot of bands doing cool stuff and also a healthy amount of extreme metal happening here in the UK. Sheol on Iron Bonehead Productions recently released a great track on a split release they did which I was blown away by. Hearing stuff like that from my homeland that’s similar to our style makes me want to up my game musically.”

Thanks for answering this short interview, the last words are yours!
Dan: “A big thanks for conducting the interview with me and of course to everyone that has or is going to check us out. Our album is coming out in October and I put an incredible amount of work into this release so it means a lot that so many people are going to be checking it out. Lastly I would like to thank everyone that had a hand in making this happen or supporting me through a very stressful process, you know who you are.”

About Kez Whelan

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