Necrowretch - Swords Of Dajjal review
|Swords Of Dajjal
01. Ksar Al-Kufar
02. The Fifth Door
03. Dii Mauri
04. Swords Of Dajjal
05. Numidian Knowledge
06. Vae Victis
08. Total Obliteration
Dajjāl may be known as the great deceiver in Islamic mythology, but perhaps the true deceivers here are Necrowretch themselves, as it turns out they're not actually your regular blackened death band after all, but something even more sinister.
French act Necrowretch have produced five full-length albums since their formation back in 2008, including latest instalment Swords Of Dajjal. This most recent offering sees vocalist/guitarist and founding member Vlad joined by two new additional members, N. Destroyer (drums), and R. Cadaver (bass), and unlike previous releases from the band that leaned more towards blackened death, this fresh line-up takes the group's music in an unexpected direction (perhaps courtesy of this new rhythm section) by offering the most blackened material yet from Necrowretch. Not only that, this could well be their most sinister, structurally complex, and intensely crushing release to date.
The album is a more-than-reasonable 37 minutes in length spanning 8 tracks, with a theme that takes inspiration from the great deceiver in Islamic mythology, Al-Masih ad-Dajjal, and as you'll soon find out, the music style nicely fits within this theme. The difference in sound to the band's previous efforts is clearly noticeable from the opening track "Ksar Al-Kufar". With furious blast beats, ferocious melodic tremolo riffs, ear-bursting heavy bass lines, and evil blackened shrieks, this new approach features a rather striking meloblack approach, with very little of the band's previous blackened death material left to show. This may not appeal to those who are hoping for more of the same, but on the other hand, it's very good news for fans of classic meloblack, who may also be pleased to know that this song carries a noticeable resemblance in sound and style to Necrophobic.
The sinister blackened energy and ferocity continues to power the next track, "The Fifth Door". Again, very much as with the opener, this song provides a relentless rapid attack of frenetic melodic tremolos, manic blast beats with powerful rolling drum beats, and traditional meloblack leads. However, this time the track features a slightly new approach in the vocal department, as demonic wailing howls and tortuous screams help accompany those evil blackened shrieks. The song also ends on a high note with a Far Eastern-style acoustic melody. Beginning in a slightly different manner is "Dii Mauri", which opens with what sounds like an evil occult-like chant that's followed by a simple yet highly memorable tremolo riff.
From here on, the unrelenting blackened demonic force continues its surge; from the outrageous memorable leads of the title track to the mid-song atmospheric acoustic build-up of "Numidian Knowledge", not to mention the vivid ritualistic effects and apocalyptic ending of "Total Obliteration", Swords of Dajjal pretty much has all forms of traditional black and meloblack covered. As striking as the riffs may be, you can't help but think you've heard them all before: blackened shrieking and blast-beating, yep, heard all that before too. However, there is a main standout element that's head and shoulders above all else, and that for me without a shadow of a doubt is the sound quality. The bass sound rips through to the point where you cannot possibly miss it (and we all know that bass isn't usually a standout feature when it comes to black metal), while the guitar tone is ultra-thick, powerful and, more importantly, evil.
That evil demonic being on the cover art carrying that mighty sword is someone you really wouldn't want to come in close contact with, and Necrowretch have created something here that'll make you believe it truly exists, and what's disturbing is the fact you could be next on its sacrificial list of unlucky humans! I, for one, am happy that Necrowretch have opted to go down this more blackened route, and hope for more to come in the future.
|Written on 07.02.2024 by Feel free to share your views.
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