There’s a particular thrill that comes from the addition of a new band member, both for the band and the audience, and with bassist Brian McClelland joining drummer Myke Pelly and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Colin Dawson, Haunted Horses seems to have attained a special creative synergy that is quite evident on this third album. At face value, The Worst Has Finally Happened remains true to the band’s established sound, generating decrepit industrial soundscapes with a chaotic punk fury; however, the production is richer for McClelland’s presence on the bass, providing the extra kiss of deep end honey that allows Haunted Horses’ monstrous sound to wreak the ultimate havoc on the listener’s psyche. Songs like “Golden Stairs,” “Window Sung,” and “Cold Medecine” feature strong rhythms that seem to gallop with a disquieting ferocity, while “Thee Worst” simply pummel and pound as the distorted and driving drone of the bass is sure to cause heart palpitations. The caustic and metallic ambience that resounds through “Thorns” and “The Garden,” coupled with Dawson’s atonal and intense vocal delivery to build anxiety and tension in a manner most distressing. Truly, one can almost feel his spittle and hot breath through the speakers as each line is delivered without restraint and with raw emotion. Pelly’s forceful drumming standing out as one of the album’s highlights, especially on “PIG,” which is also notable for its almost organic distortions, as if to mimic the snorts and bellows of some deathly swine, leaving “Severed Circle” to conclude the proceedings with a dark riff leading into a cacophonous and amorphous tableau. Comparisons to the likes of Einstürzende Neubauten, SWANS, and Daughters have already abounded with Haunted Horses, but with good reason, and The Worst Has Finally Happened serves to solidify the band’s placement among their ranks – experimental in its tonal qualities, unbridled and unhinged in its execution, yet finely sharpened in every aspect. Just be sure to check your sanity at the door lest the album exceed your threshold.