Necrot - Blood Offerings review

Bandcamp music player

25 users:
Band: Necrot
Album: Blood Offerings
Release date: June 2017

01. The Blade
02. Rather Be Dead
03. Shadows And Light
04. Blood Offerings
05. Empty Hands
06. Beneath
07. Breathing Machine
08. Layers Of Darkness

Rotten but a fresh of fresh air.

One of the strongest death metal debuts in a long time, California's Necrot burst onto the scene with a bang and a strong sense of purpose that is refreshing to hear. Blood Offerings is a statement of intent that the band back up with quality and power in spades; it may not revolutionize the genre but it'll knock you sideways if you don't take it seriously.

Necrot start swinging from the off and don't look back until the music stops; knowing only one setting and that's full-on unrelenting brutality, you realize that when the title talks about Blood Offerings, it is your blood they're referring to. The band's sense of groove gives the songs a twist that mean the band aren't competing in the extremity arms race and this being their only selling point; sure this groove element benefits and doesn't detract from the heaviness, but it doesn't mean they're blindly trying to outsprint others to be the heaviest as the be all end all.

Necrot's ability to keep the heaviness going even during the groove sections adds to the sense of unrelenting attack the band pursue on the album, with tracks like "Rather Be Dead" maintaining its power even during the guitar breaks or "Shadows And Light", where the band transition between sections under a barrage of powerful riffs that do not let up on the intensity stakes. Whereas some bands use lighter sections to accentuate the heavier parts, Blood Offerings throws that convention out the window and just dials everything to eleven before sitting back and watching the blood flow. Making these sections the rare exception, it makes them stand out and more impactful as it serves as the eye of the storm, a moment to catch your breath before the whirlwind begins again. Listen to the guitar solo outro on "Empty Hands"; what could have been a throwaway section becomes a highlight through this slight change up.

The three-piece gel well together and move as a unit; no one instrument serves only as a foil for another and the emphasis is put on the collective. Indrio balances his duties as bass player and singer well, more than capable at both and with neither seeming the lesser of the two. "Layers Of Darkness" features some great bass work that will hold your attention. His growls are powerful and hoarse, evoking a sense of rawness and urgency to the lyrics that add to the overall feel of the album. Reinhardt balances power with groove through his guitar work, with lines that are cutting and powerful but with a rhythmic basis that crushes as it moves. Gailey works admirably on the drums; his drum work may not be the most flashy, but it works in the context of the songs. He does throw in fills and rolls with aplomb but it's never the centre piece of his parts; the pounding power is.

In a back-handed compliment, it doesn't matter so much that Blood Offerings isn't the most original album out there given the quality that is packed inside that compensates for this this and then some. While the band don't stray into sounding like sonically plagiarising anyone in particular, they don't create a niche or sound that could identify them as their own take on the genre. Does the band stray into generic territory? They skirt close to it but lead from the front to give themselves a level of differentiation.

Indrio does at times sound like a weaker version of John Tardy; his voice is powerful in his own right but sometimes he strays too far close to emulating Tardy that the comparison will hit you between the eyes. While it doesn't diminish his skills, it will take you out of the moment in places like "Beneath", somewhat detracting from the quality of the song going on around him.

Well worth a listen for any fan of death metal who wants something new to listen to, it won't be a new flavour for your taste buds but it will be one the better death metal feasts you will have had beyond the classics in a while. A band to keep a close eye on, Blood Offerings is a strong foot to start on for Necrot.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8


Written on 29.09.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

Hits total: 205 | This month: 135