Sentient Horror – Ungodly Forms


Let the massacre commence…

Out on Testimony Records from 9 December 2016. Reviewed by Jason Guest

Old school death metal to their core, New Jersey’s Sentient Horror was formed in 2014 by ex-Dark Empire guitarist and growler Matt Moliti. Thence cometh Ungodly Forms, 12 raging tracks that begin with the 50-second blast of death metal grime of ‘Into The Abyss…’ and end with the 6-minute seething beast of ‘Celestial Carnage’. As for what lies between these two brutal bookends, it’s fetid and fiery and sadistic and sick and with a very big nod in the direction of the early 90s SweDeath, you know what to expect.

It’s gruesome, it’s grimy, and it’s laced with some seriously good death metal riffs and dark and dirty grooves. ‘Abyssal Ways’ is a flurry of blast beats and death metal malice, as are both ‘Die Decay Devour’ and ‘Blood Rot’, the unremitting destruction force of this latter slowing only for a brief half-time mid-section with some cool melodic lead work before all hell is once again let loose. Religion gets a pounding with ‘Splinter The Cross’ before the ludicrous speed of ‘Beyond the Curse of Death’ bludgeons us into submission.

So far, so brutal. And for the most part, predictably so. Up until now the album’s been good, not great, but good. And then the title track rears its ugly head and ugly torso and ugly soul and the rest of the album steps it up. The title track’s monster riffs, double-kick drum blasts, and half-time groove is where the band hit the mark. Here, they’ve found that gold nugget among the dirt that they deal and with ‘Suffer To The Grave’ bleeding pure blackened filth, ‘A Host Of Worms’ brings a bunch of chugging and chunky mutated riffs to the corpse-pounding party.

Then, as if ‘A Host of Worms’ was a warning, with ‘Of Filth And Flesh’, something happens. Flesh is torn, bones are broken and souls are harvested as the track rips through riff after malevolent riff with a savagely cool lead break thrown into the malignant mix. The standout track on the album, the 90-second instrumental ‘Mourning’ is a much-needed respite. Clean guitar backed with soft synth sounds, it may be an oddity compared with what else we have here, but it’s a great oddity. And so with ‘Celestial Carnage’ to lay us to waste, the massacre ends messily. Beautifully so.

While the first half of the album is good – very good, it’s the latter half that gives this album its real worth. As an opening statement, you’d be hard pushed to find something this impressive. It may not be wholly original but it’s a beast. Recommended.

sentient-horror-ungodly-forms7 out of 10

Track list:

  1. Into The Abyss…
  2. Abyssal Ways
  3. Die Decay Devour
  4. Blood Rot
  5. Splinter The Cross
  6. Beyond The Curse Of Death
  7. Ungodly Forms
  8. Suffer To The Grave
  9. A Host Of Worms
  10. Of Filth And Flesh
  11. Mourning (Instrumental)
  12. Celestial Carnage