1986 was an excellent year for metal. All four of the Big Four of thrash released albums. Several lesser–known bands like Overkill and Dark Angel put out stunning albums. And one of the all-time underground extreme metal greats was recorded.
Repulsion's 'Horrified' earned a status among tape traders almost equal to that of Hellhammer and Metallica in their heyday. And so it should have.
This was death metal before death metal. At the time, death metal was nothing more than an offshoot of thrash, still in an embryonic state. 'Horrified' burst straight in and laid waste to all around it. The standard of production is incredibly good, shaming many which followed, like early Napalm Death, Carcass and Death.
What makes this album so outstanding is its extremity. It melded blistering speed (including blast beats), chunky guitars, death grunt vocals, and gory lyrics, providing the blueprint for countless bloodthirsty hordes of gore metal bands to follow. A lot of the song titles have reappeared since as band names– "Six Feet Under", "Splattered Cadavers", "Acid Bath".
The songs generally rumble along at a constant velocity. Drummer Dave Grave (don't think he's related to the Sadistik Exekution bass player Dave Slave) mashed up the mix to keep it interesting, throwing in some impressive blasts. There is also the odd sparse guitar solo, similar to what Carcass produced on 'Symphonies of Sickness'. Yngwie Malmsteen it is not, but the off kilter guitar noises produced add an interesting flavour.
Like a majority of death metal vocalists, trying to decipher what the hell Scott Carlson is on about is nigh on impossible. On the odd occasion though, the vocals clear up a little, to good effect, particularly on the classic "Maggots In Your Coffin".
Not gaining a decent release until six years after it was recorded, Repulsion kind of missed the boat when death metal burst forth from the rotted corpse of Thrash. However, their influence is undeniable– Death, Autopsy, Napalm Death, Carcass, Necrophagia, Mortician, Suffocation. Chances are, if you are listening to a gore obsessed death metal or grindcore band, Repulsion has been an influence somewhere along the line.