Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nekromantheon-Rise, Vulcan Spectre

When Norway is brought to mind in terms of metal, most people instantly think of one thing: Black metal. But it's a good thing that I had encountered a few more Norwegian thrash acts before this one. Bands like Deathhammer, Harm and old schoolers Equinox were some unique thrash acts which I found bloody decent. But when Nekromantheon released their crushing sophomore effort upon earth, I was completely blown away with the evil, sordid style with the Slayer-esque guitar riffing and all that. Forget black metal, forget the aformentioned thrash acts and listen to this. I would have never thought that some of the best thras of the year would come from Norway, especially since Norway is known only for its relentless worshippers of Satan.

Nekromantheon venture into some black metal territory, but only slightly since the influence isn't too clear. The evil, venomous sound comes from the black metal influence, borrowed by Nekromantheons forefathers. But besides that, the album is pure raw, old school and aggressive thrash mayhem. There is a brand of Slayer-esque riffage which perfectly corresponds to the evil sound of the album. And in addition to that there is a number of wonderful solos, produced with a dirty sound, both melodic and forlorn. The riffage on the album almost feels as if it has its own distinct sound with the multiple usage of thrills, tremolo assaults along with crushing chords and an overall complexity achieved with the dark atmosphere and barking vocals. The violent attitude of the album is a direct reminiscent of brutal old school thrash acts such as Sepultura, Morbid Saint, Demolition Hammer, Kreator, gnawing the listeners ears with relentless ferocity. When the base sructure of the riffs is examined, it is obvious that the riffs aren't anyhting extravagent or complex by any means, but simply sound incedibly hardened and crushing even on more melodious sections.

The is a great classic thrash vibe that may take the listener to the early 80's. Some sections sound like more straightforward speed/thrash, a bit like fellow countrymen Deathhammer who have obtained the same headbangable sound with their praised debut. However thealbum rarely tends to take such forms, as the main formula of the album is the crushing thrash attack along the immoral tinge of black metal. Of course most of the bands overall effectiveness comes from the vocals. The vocals are barking furious all the time and also have some evilness in them thanks to the echoing sound that adds a nice spice to the music. Unlike many bands the vocals never succumb to the mighty power of the riffs simply flows alongside them as if it was cast down into a void. The tremendously crushing effort that is put into the music never ceases, containing packs of energy that last until the very end, allowing the riffs to formidably pursue the listener and get the him/her into an instant orgy of headbanging menace.

So once again, Norway fails to fail. Nekromantheons ''Rise, Vulcan Spectre'', will be a much praised album in near time, once it hopefully gains the recognition that it requires. Nothing more can be said about this album, but the facts that it's one truely crushing and vile album that may hopefully bring more waves of thrash bands upon Norway, so that thrashers can celebrate the rise of a new scene and a new band. The album may not be too close to perfect, but the sordid sound, dark atmosphere and vicious attitude allows it to raise the flag for Norwegian thrash acts, and thus having the authority to lead Norways new wave of thrash metal onto battle, to batter our ear drums.

Rise, Vulcan Spectre
The Usurper Command
Cast Down Into The Void

Rating: 90%

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