Album Review: Necrovation – Necrovation
Release: June, 2012
Label: Agonia Records
Genre: Death Metal
After a bunch of shorter / smaller releases and a debut full-length called Breed Deadness Blood in 2008, Necrovation apparently finally developed an album worthy of their own name.
The band, from Kristianstad, Sweden, is active since 2003 and produces some very traditional sweaty armpits, beer and smoke Death Metal, a.k.a. Old-School! In a time in which Metal is heavily commercializing it’s a good thing some bands remain close to the roots of Extreme Metal. Necrovation (the album) offers a selection of nine songs of ear punishment in the traditional Death Metal way. Proper Swedeath!
However, the first thing this album makes me think of is Martin van Drunen, vocalist to a host of Dutch Old-School Death Metal outfits, including Pestilence, Asphyx and Hail of Bullets. Necrovation’s vocalist, Seb, has a similar hoarseness in his voice, even though he doesn’t quite go as far as Van Drunen does – but hey, that dude goes ALL the way!
Musically, Necrovation is a bundling of heavy-accentuated Metal riffs and more technical elements that lift it well above the ‘I-can-do-that!’ competition. Despite a lot of darkness and despair, Necrovation (the band this time) manage to involve a lot of melody in their lead guitars that in itself wouldn’t even be so evil. And, in fact, I like this. The band create an atmosphere that is indeed dark and not exactly uplifting, but without going over the top and stuffing the thing with devil notes, hellish shrieks and constant relentless pummeling. The approach is much more intelligent.
There are bits and pieces that strongly remind me of Death’s guitar work, though applied discontinuously, providing accents instead of a constant waterfall of melody. Track 4, Commander of Remains, is a good example of this and, moreover, features some great rhythm guitar riffs. Contrasting, the subsequent song New Depths is a lot more forced down the throat; quicker, louder and more chaotic like a can of hell being emptied. It’s the blast-beat exception to the rule of drums that have a more ‘song-building’ role across the record.
What stands out in many of the band’s songs on this album are the solos. They are sharp and flaming, but don’t feel weak and fragile. The application of some wah-wah goes a long way here and makes the solos all the more convincing. An Old-School feel with modern day quality of sound. And this goes all the way, actually. The mix is brilliant, with sufficient stage for each of the instruments – except perhaps bass – and vocals, and feels well layered and dynamic. Nothing like the basement recording from the early Nineties bands that the band takes its inspiration from!
Have a chunk of track 7, titled Resurrectionist, an ample demonstration of the above. A rich tone, good crunch and mystical, perhaps oriental, feel. Crank it up!
I haven’t heard Necrovation’s earlier full-length album, but judging from what I’m hearing on this record I say it’s well worth their name. It’s an album with class and sophistication hiding under a rough-ass layer of Death Metal. Quality riffs, quality solos, quality drumming and quality recording. There could’ve been a bit more volume for the bass, but to be really honest I don’t really miss it in a prominent position. Old-School Death Metal in a freshly washed battle jacket!
My Grade: 8/10
Buy this when:
- you dig Old-School but can do without the crappy sound quality
- a song’s intelligence and structure is more important to you, ahead of its loudness