Sunday, 15 February 2015

Necrowretch - With Serpents Scourge (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16/02/2015
Label: Century Media Records

‘With Serpents Scourge’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1) Black Death Communion
2) Feast Off Their Doom
3) With Serpents Scourge
4) By Evil And Beyong
5) The Bells Of Evil Schism
6) He Thrones On Thy Sins
7) Even Death May Die
8) Infernal Imprecation
9) Mortem Ritu

Necrowretch is

Vlad | Guitars, Vocals
Amphycion | Bass
Ilmar | Drums


Yes! Having seen this French death/black metal outfit live at the ‘Live Evil’ festival a year or two ago I was very pleased when this latest release landed with me for review. The overall vibe of this is, as you would expect, very necro indeed. Vicious swirls of noise roll out of the speakers like a deathly mist of doom! It's raw, it's treble heavy, it features the word “Satan”! It is, quite simply, fucking metal.

‘Black Death Communion’ is like an inverted cross to the temple; uncompromising and deadly. The album continues without any let up into ‘Feast off Their Doom’. The riffs are surprisingly memorable- I was familiar with the record after two listens- and combined with thrash and rolling blast tempos. This is not anything like the death metal purveyed by the Floridian or US scene. Honestly, it has more in common with Dissection than it does Cannibal Corpse. The production is raw and noisy and suits the material perfectly- it's imperfect and sinister with a coldness to the sound of all instruments.

As the album progresses through the likes of the title track and ‘By Evil and Beyond’, I started to realise that there would not be any filler or tracks to skip past. It is an encompassing listening experience of some ferocity. The band brings together some of the best elements of black metal with their unusual brand of death metal to create a veritable vortex of aural chaos. The tracks don't outstay their welcome- all are under six minutes with most half to two thirds of that. This allows the band to concentrate on maximum intensity and horror. The angular ascending/descending riffs and guitar lines are a great feature of the record for me, being as they lend it a certain identity beyond endlessly thrashing riffs.

The likes of ‘The Bells of Evil Schism’ are feral in the extreme, likewise ‘He Thrones on Thy Sins’ is just as nasty. The record is intense, that's for sure. ‘Even Death May Die’ (Lovecraft influence?) is another whirlwind of hate before the brief, minute long, respite of ‘Infernal Imprecation’ and ‘Mortem Ritu’ pushes over five minutes and has atmosphere aplenty in its spiky riffs.

It would be fair to say that I loved this record as soon as I heard it- it is immediate, relentless and nasty in its delivery. Necrowretch have come up with a great album here. For death and black metal heads everywhere.

Words by: Richard Maw

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