When we made NYC quintet The Hudson Horror’s debut release our Album of the Week in late 2015 we truly felt like we had hit on a band who had the potential to transcend obscurity and bring their brand of progressive, eloquent, yet staggeringly brutal death metal to the masses. Since then, however, we have heard depressingly little from them and their online profile remains frustratingly low for such a crushingly brilliant band. Rejoice then as we took delivery of their brand new 5 track EP, Ruiner!
The Hudson Horror have been through personnel changes since Nemesis, but mercifully the leather lungs of frontman Dan Kelly remain intact (god knows how) firing out the same rapidly-switching growls and tightly controlled shrieks. His control and (occasional) bouts of borderline mania impressed the hell out of us last time and though perhaps a little looser on here – they still do.
Overall though, the sense of continuation from what this band displayed on Nemesis is perhaps the a little disappointing. Sure, we do have the same florid guitar solos, eloquent bass and, as Ruiner unfolds, Gothenburg via-Periphery progressive wig-outs (particularly on “The Crawling Chaos” which stretches from jazz to raging hardcore punk before settling back into a moody groove backed with swelling string synth). But, it is almost as though this EP is designed to showcase their new drummer rather than progress the craft and vision of the band.
Therein lies an issue. New drummer, Charlie Cohen, is very much a meat and veg extreme metal guy and his blast beats and stomping four on the floor battery only serves to present a band that now sounds less organic and original than how they initially came across on Nemesis.
However, make no mistake. The Hudson Horror are still grin-generatingly ace and their ability to juggle art with anger while sounding modern and fresh – their greatest selling point – is well represented here. Still flying the flag for modern extreme metal. Still ones to watch. 7/10