Necrot - Mortal review
|Release date:||August 2020|
01. Your Hell
02. Dying Life
03. Stench Of Decay
04. Asleep Forever
05. Sinister Will
06. Malevolent Intentions
Mortality doesn't seem so bad with a soundtrack like this.
Ever since Necrot came across my radar last year, they have been a band on heavy rotation, with their debut Blood Offerings serving as one of those records that reminds you why you have fallen so deep into a genre. While that fleeting euphoric feeling of hearing something special for the first time is lacking on Mortals, it does away with this sentimentality and makes up for it with bruising and bloodying death metal. Mortal does not suffer from any kind of identity crisis, being born out of the intention by the band to better their prior work and take no prisoners in doing so. With this in mind, anyone familiar with the band should sit there with glee.
The band found themselves releasing Mortal right in amongst a tightly packed release window alongside several hotly anticipated releases, creating a rivalry with fellow countrymen Skeletal Remains and Morta Skuld for who would emerge with the best record. It is a close race with the former but Mortal comes out in front, creating what is sure to be a contender as one of the strongest death metal releases of the year for me.
From the off, the band's brand of groove-infected death metal is back in full swing with the opening "Your Hell" and carries on in full hammer-swinging mode for much of the duration of the album (with one exception). Reinhardt's guitar once again occupies that sweet spot of adding its weight behind the blow while also laying on top of the songs and bringing the groove element to the fore, adding technique and skill to the swing of the hammer.
This is a constant theme throughout the album, with songs like "Asleep Forever" and "Malevolent Intentions" being hard hitters which blend out-and-out power with segments and instrumentation that add extra dimension to grab your attention like a hook in your mouth. The band ensure to flip the established formula on its head with "Sinister Will", which is a groove song with a bloodied bared-teeth death metal underbelly. Coming at just the right time in the running order to shake things up and keep the album sounding fresh, it is a highlight for sure.
The biggest swerve is left for last with the album closer "Mortal", which clocks in at a surprising eight and a half minutes; it conserves its energy somewhat but it does so with style, resting on the groove for the most part with moments of power to give the song a personality and energy. While its duration may raise an eyebrow, it will ensure the other eyebrow joins it in short order as you listen in amazement at the song the band have managed to carve out for you. Managing to hold your attention throughout, it is a rewarding listen for those who are more inclined to shorter, punchier tracks.
Reinhardt aside, the rest of Necrot's members are on fine form, with bass player/vocalist Indrio again bringing his John Tardy stylings to the fore. Indrio shows a level of growth from the band's debut album, relying less on his influences and building a stronger character in his voice; though not yet a complete departure, it is a evident step or two in the right direction. Gailey is again the powerhouse of the band on the drums, smashing the skins for every ounce of noise he can get from them.
The only real issue I can take with Mortal is that at times Gailey's drums are left let down sound wise, with a clicky ride cymbal and a snare that absorbs the blow rather than ringing out. A good example of this would be the last minute of "Malevolent Intentions" and the beginning of "Mortal", where it sticks out and draws your attention away from the rest of the band around it. I would also advise death metal devotees to give this album a few extra spins to really let it grow on you; it isn't until you find yourself a bit more acquainted with the tracks that all the little details come into focus, given how the album just barrages you from the off. If you take this record as a one and done then you will easily overlook many of the parts that add to the listening experience.
If you find yourself lacking the motivation to listen to this record at this moment in time or remain unconvinced, I would enjoy the temporary lull while you can; I can foresee this record being bandied around as a contender for one of the best death metal albums of the year.
||Written on 14.10.2020 by|
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