Review 2072 : Horrible – Filth – English

Horrible. A very simple word to describe this new band.

Created by drummer Jonas Sanders (Pro-Pain) and guitarist Olivier Dris (Resistance), the band welcomes Déhà (vocals, Dropdead Chaos, Imber Luminis, Cult of Erinyes, Wolvennest, Clouds…), Sven (guitar, Killthelogo) and Ben (bass, Resistance) in 2022 , then works on Filth, its first album.

The band kicks off with Horrible, the eponymous track on which we can easily spot the band’s most violent and aggressive influences in the riffs, but also an interesting groove in certain vocal parts. Grind and Death roots hit us at full speed, followed by a suffocating Sludge break before Allies of Satan unveils itself with a strangely joyful introduction, followed by the abrasive rhythm that nonetheless retains catchy patterns. The unifying finale leaves us with Filth, the title track, which comes into its own with a chaotic instrumental on which the hellish vocal parts take their mark before… completely changing to become almost accessible as the Brutal Death touches appear, followed by a surprising surge and then A Thousand Souls, which lets the vocalist offer a new diversity. The waves of fury seem to be endless, even as the sound slows down to become heavier, before Dawn finally allows us a brief moment’s respite thanks to more modern, ambient sounds. We’ll Rise quickly follows with a jerky rhythm and tortured harmonics, while the vocal parts overlap to reach the raging final, before landing on Blood Maniac, which doesn’t spare us either with its explosive riffs. Nu Metal’s energy joins the effective mix, which ends up getting heavier again before giving way to Despicable, a disturbing, suffocating instrumental composition with Industrial roots, then to You Can’t Say No, where madness and violence express themselves one last time in the company of lyrics as evocative as they are denunciatory.

Horrible is a unique project, with influences as diverse as they are varied. While the majority of these are oriented towards violence, Filth is also extremely coherent, despite all its different nuances. Definitely one of the strangest albums of the year!


Version Française ?

A few questions to Olivier « Oli » Dris, founding guitarist of the band Horrible.

Hello, and thank you for your time! How would you introduce the band Horrible without using the usual musical style labels?
Olivier « Oli » Dris (guitar): Hello, it’s Oli. Thanks for agreeing to this interview ? Horrible is a group of five musicians who have been playing in other bands for over twenty years. Our music is direct, modern and boundless. The very essence of Horrible‘s creation is to be able to do what we want, without concessions, without wondering whether or not it will appeal to a certain audience, which was the case in some of our previous bands. Jonas (drums) and I formed the group and composed all the songs. Déhà (vocals) came in next, and we gave him free rein with the vocal lines, knowing his more than varied vocal range. When all was said and done, we turned our attention to the possibility of performing live, and the choice of Ben (bass) and Sven (guitar) seemed more than obvious.

Filth, your debut album, comes out next month. How do you feel about it? Do you already have any feedback on it?
Oli: We’ve released two singles so far, and the response has been excellent, even better than I’d hoped. We took the gamble of releasing two very direct and brutal singles and then putting out a heavy, borderline Rap track as a third single (which will be released a week before the album). We’re not a band that wants to be comfortable. We want to challenge the audience. Of course we can’t wait to throw our album out to Metal fans and see what kind of response it gets. But we’re pretty confident. We’ve taken the time to mature this project and we already have an idea of where we want to go.

How would you sum up Filth in three words?
Oli: Powerful, impactful, varied.

Filth is your first album. How did you go about composing it? Each of the musicians has already had at least one experience with another project, so what did each of them bring to the creative process?
Oli: As I mentioned, Jonas and I did all the songwriting, with the exception of the two interludes, which were created by Déhà. Having played together for almost fifteen years in our previous band (Resistance), we know how to play. In fact, sometimes it’s almost too easy for two of us to get together: a jam can quickly become a song. What I love most about Jonas is that he knows what we can do, but he’s not satisfied with that; he wants to take us further and push us to the limit. He also has experience of the metal scene in general, playing in various bands such as Pro-Pain (USA, Hardcore), Emptiness (Dark/Black), Killthelogo (Fusion/Neo) and Komah (Metalcore). As far as I’m concerned, I’m very open-minded musically, moving from Devin Townsend to Mortician without a care in the world. As for Déhà, he’s a hard worker with an overflowing creative imagination. He must release dozens of albums a year. He’s a bit like the Townsend of the extreme. But what’s really impressive is his vocal ability, switching from melodic to Black or Death without a care in the world. Just take a look at his discography: you go from Dropdead Chaos to Déhà or Drache and wonder if it’s the same singer. He recorded the vocals in two three-hour sessions, creating the lyrics on the spot. He then came up with some noisy keyboard arrangements that we loved straight away. Jonas then worked on effects and post-prod. Ben and Sven weren’t involved in the composition, but you’ll understand on stage why we chose them. Ben is a steamroller and that’s what Horrible needs on bass. Sven is an excellent guitarist who plays all kinds of Metal and can play Flamenco on acoustic guitar for an hour with his eyes closed.    

You all come from very different worlds. How did you manage to come together musically? What are the band’s major influences?
Oli: Well, we’ve crossed paths with each other on the road and in concert halls throughout our careers. Jonas, Ben and I have been playing together for fifteen years via Resistance. Sven and Jonas play together in Killthelogo. Déhà and Jonas work in Blackout Studio. We bonded quickly. Horrible‘s basic influences are Nails, Lock Up, Trap Them, Dying Fetus and early Slipknot. Influences such as Code Orange and Korn are added through effects, arrangements and vocals.

All your tracks are obviously filled with extreme violence, but you mix it by turns with speed, groove, heaviness, saturated vocals, clear vocals, almost even Rap on You Can’t Say No, the last track… how do you manage to find a balance on each track?
Oli: To be honest, it was everyone’s contribution that gave the tracks their final shape. Drums’ speed and groove mixed with the heavy riffs and the extreme melodic vocals – it was a mix that seemed coherent and came easily to us. It’s the way we play. But as for You Can’t Say No… honestly, I had totally different ideas for the vocals, let’s say more conventional. And then Déhà asked us if he could try something. And after one take, Jonas and I said to ourselves: that’s what we’re looking for. Rap over heavy riffs brings the kind of variety we really want to develop. Confusing but addictive.

Talking of the last track, I was puzzled by it, especially by the lyrics. Is the band’s aim to denounce? What’s the story behind this track?
Oli: There’s often a form of denunciation in Metal bands’ lyrics. Here, we focused on everything that could be horrible in everyday life, and in the case of You Can’t Say No, that seemed obvious. Most of us have been in that situation where you’re rushed and oppressed, physically or mentally assaulted. Then comes that feeling of frustration and anger that you try to hold back and contain. But in some cases, feelings take over and the irreparable is committed. You can’t hold it in any longer and the sad reality is revealed.

I know this is a difficult question, but do you have a favorite track on this album? Or the one that seemed the most natural to compose?
Oli: I’d have to say You Can’t Say No. That intro riff is very close to my heart. I’d been keeping it a secret for a few years, and seeing how it turned out made me ultra proud. I love heavy riffs that can really hurt in moshpits (laughs).

What can you tell me about the artwork? What were the guidelines for its creation?
Oli: We wanted a modern artwork, bordering on a real photo. I discovered the work of Rob Walden, from Orlando, on the Internet. His ultra-modern, uncomfortable style appealed to me immediately. We told him we wanted an unhealthy central face, hidden from view, spitting gold and tortured. The smoke represents darkness. And the central figure represents the horrible monster that emerges from the abyss. His eyes are hidden because he refuses to see the reality of the cruelty of this world and prefers to take part in it blindly. The nails represent torture. The gold side refers to the fact that the rich are getting richer these days, and that it’s possible to be rich too easily (influencers…). The monster vomits out this new form of « easy living » that is purely superficial. 

Filth is an independent release. Is it the band’s intention to remain independent?
Oli: First we said to ourselves, « Let’s see what happens with the first album. » We decided to release the album digitally first. There’s already demand for physical support, but we’ll see. We’ve hired two press agencies to manage the album in Europe. As for releasing the album via a label, let’s give it time and see what the response is.

How did you discover the Metal scene at the time? Which bands do you think are essential on the current scene?
Oli: I discovered the metal scene in 1994, when I saw a report on the Donington Festival on TV. Back then we had Headbangers Ball, MTV and MCM playing Metal. I bought Smash by The Offspring and Dookie by Green Day when they came out. Then I was wandering around and there was a 100% Metal record shop. I went in and the salesman recommended a new band who were releasing their first album. It was Machine Head with their Burn My Eyes. This album literally changed my vision and became one of my ultimate references, along with Strapping Young Lad‘s City and Slipknot‘s first album. I quickly opened up to all styles and went straight for Death and Deathcore. Bands such as Dying Fetus, Misery Index and All Shall Perish are a must for me. In terms of heaviness, I quickly became attached to Meshuggah, and I can tell you that Rational Gaze, on the Nothing album, has been my wake-up call for over twenty years. To show you the diversity, another must-have for me is the album Tommy Lee made with rappers Methods Of Mayhem. Released in 2000, it appeared to be a UFO. If this album came out now, it would sell millions. Right now, in my opinion, the unmissable bands are Gojira and Lorna Shore.

What are your plans for the follow-up to Horrible? Do you plan to take the project live on stage? In the immediate future, or in several months’ time?
Oli: We’re working on a new music video for You Can’t Say No, which will be released after the album. A few other interesting videos are also in the pipeline. Originally, Horrible was meant to be a studio project, but the buzz between musicians generated by the music we created led us to the conclusion that we had to defend it on stage. Music is meant to be shared with an audience. So we’re slowly starting to plan a few exclusive shows. We won’t be able to embark on any major tours, as some members’ schedules are already full.

Are there any musicians or artists you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
Oli: I personally like having guests on our albums if they can bring something different to our compositions. I recently discovered the German Rap scene and an artist like Antifuchs would be great on one of our tracks. The must would be Ice-T or Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). On another note, I’d like to find myself guided by a producer like Ross Robinson.

Do you think you’ve improved as a musician with this album?
Oli: I think so. Touring over the last few years has made me improve and see the instrument differently. The fact that I’ve been able to let my creativity run free without setting gender barriers has contributed to this improvement. I know I’ll never be Satriani, but that’s not what I want either. I’m more than happy with where I am now.

What bands do you dream of playing with? I’ll leave it to you to imagine a Filth release date with Horrible opening, and three other bands.
Oli: Slipknot, Gojira, Lorna Shore, Horrible.

Last original question: what dish would you compare Horrible‘s music to?
Oli: A spicy Thai dish. It stings, it hurts, but we want more because we love it! It’s just horrible ?

That was my last question, so thank you for your availability, and the last words are yours!
Oli: Thank you so much for the opportunity to do this interview. We look forward to your feedback on Filth. Don’t hesitate to come and talk to us on our networks, we love that.

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