NECROCURSE, Chaos Carnage Cataclysm (2011, Aftermath Music)
If you’re familiar with Marvel Comics circa the 1960s/’70s, you might remember an artist named Gene Colan. And if you do, you’ll understand why I look at the Necrocurse artwork for Chaos Carnage Cataclysm and see his style all over it. In his most macabre moments, Colan drew like he was tripping on acid with each stroke, the features of his characters eerily rendered and just slightly out of proportion. And then some of his stuff looked like quick sketches, as if he was pressed for time. Whatever the case, his is an instantly recognizable style and one relegated to comics’ old school. I’d be surprised if whoever drew this cover for Necrocurse wasn’t influenced by Gene Colan. It’s got that trippy phantasmagoria he was so good at capturing. And look at the disaster that the skull’s eyeballs have endured! (Don’t worry about the fact that there are three eyeballs pictured — a minor detail, move along, nothing to see here.) Despite the cobweb (another incidental detail — work with me here), you get the sense we’re witnessing this skull’s first moments of actually being a skull, his living human features (skin, blood, eyeballs) having been melted off just minutes before this particular frame, probably thanks to some kind of satanic curse. Like, a necro curse.
Add Necrocurse to the long resume of one Nicklas Rudolfsson (Runemagick, Deathwitch, Swordmaster, amongst others). He plays drums here, and it’s no huge surprise (or leap) that Necrocurse plays brutal Swedish death metal akin to early Runemagick. You might have guessed it already, but lemme spell it out for you: there’s not one iota of originality
here. There’s another Swedish metal luminary present, one Hellbutcher, from the much-lauded Nifelheim. You have to wonder what Mr. Butcher is getting out of this experience that he doesn’t out of Nifelheim. Fatter guitar sound? The fairly regular release schedule of a more prolific band than Nifelheim? Whatever it is, it reminds of when Glen Benton of Satanic death metallers Deicide briefly joined Satanic death metallers Vital Remains because he wanted to, you know, spread his wings. There are two songs on this 7″, the band’s debut, and they have offered a handful of other releases since, a frequency which must have Hellbutcher’s head spinning. Personally, I’d rather see a new Nifelheim album than another Necrocurse release. This band is fine, but recommended only to the anal-retentive SDM completist who cannot get enough.
— Friar Wagner
It’s Gene Colan.
The cover looks like the kind of work Mr. Colan did for Warren (Creepy, Eerie) , and yeah, “trippy fantasmagoria” is a pretty apt description.