I’m going to start this review by recommending everyone that really like TESTAMENT to check out HORRORSCOPE. I’ve never been the most rabiat TESTAMENT fan and therefore I’m not doing the wave. Anyway there is no way of denying that HORRORSCOPE holds some talent, especially in the guitars department. There are good riffs in every song and with some help from a good production, it sounds really satisfying. So far, so good.
As we all know an album consists of more than guitars, at least if you forget guitar wankers like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. And unfortunately for me I have some problems with the vocals. They sometimes remind me of Chuck from TESTAMENT and as I mentioned before that never were my favourite band. The only album I really like that TESTAMENT ever released is “Demonic” where Chuck uses growls instead of Thrash vocals. I don’t mean that HORRORSCOPE shall transform into a Death Metal band, but I would like a more aggressive approach in the vocals.
When it comes to highs and lows it’s quite easy for me to pick. “One Night Queen” is without doubt the best song on “The Crushing Design”. Played loud it’s a really good song, fucking heavy riffs really shaking the ground. If this song had been with more aggressive vocals it would be a really hit for me, it would be excellent. But my problems with the vocals hinder real excitement, but it’s a very good song anyway. The low on this album is as clear as my favourite were. And the loser is “Between Two Hearts”. If this song was ditched and replaced with a good one this album would get 0,5 more points from me. I’m not allergic to ballads, but not only have I problems with the vocals on this song, but the playing is boring as well.
It’s important to remember that this review is done from a Death Metal fans viewpoint. I certainly like some Thrash Metal bands but I favour the more aggressive ones. I think the guitars hold good aggression and passion and therefore I find it awkward that they decided to use this kind of vocals. Every Thrash fan take a listen to the songs that is available for download, HORRORSCOPE is a professional band that just didn’t do it for me. (Online April 11, 2005)