SKULL398

NECROS CHRISTOS, Triune Impurity RitesĀ  (2007, Sepulchral Voice)

The skull:
Very serious stuff here. Very little to make jokes about. Other than the chicken foot. Maybe. Then I look at those nifty Necros Christos stoles. They look like priest stoles, you know, the shawls they wear to indicate their office or order. There can be no doubt what office you dwell in if you’re wearing a Necros Christos stole — the death metal office! I sure hope the dudes in the band wear them in concert. Moving on, we have candles, popular in occult-y photo shoots such as this. Mandatory, really. And then there’s the skull itself, as real as can be, and very much unbleached. They barely shook the dirt off before snapping this picture. Now, back to the chicken foot. You suppose the small bones forming a half circle in front of the skull belong to the same chicken as the foot? Do you suppose there was some sort of dinner involved here? Maybe a potluck of some sort?

The music:
I know some people who consider Necros Christos guitarist Mors Dalos Ra the greatest death metal vocalist ever. It’s difficult to dispute that. While he’s a bit lacking in depth, doing just one thing with his voice, what he does with it he does extremely well. He has this wet, gurgling, throaty, even phlegm-y quality, and it’s on the very low end of the scale without getting into porn-slam pig-grunt territory. Take David Vincent at his lowest, Mikko Aspa (Deathspell Omega) at his Mikko Aspa-est, Mikael Akerfeldt gargling tar, and the more deathly delivery of Immortal’s Abbath, and you kind of get in the area of this guy’s formidable approach. Musically it’s fairly straightforward death metal, not the fastest of them all, with a decidedly doom-drenched layer. There are some exquisitely morbid guitar lines throughout, and the drumming ranges from primitively simple to acrobatically complex. The production quality is perfect for the material — natural and earthy, but hardly lacking in otherworldly vibe. Sometimes it all gets rather involved — not quite symphonic but certainly stacked with a variety of complementary melodies and rhythms that create a mad hypnotic swirl, as in the album’s longest song, “Va Koram Do Rex Satan.” Other times the death-pummel absolutely crushes — straightforward, lurching, throbbing chunks of fat guitar tones and eyes-rolling-back-in-the-head sorta stuff. Overall things are kept low and bloated, a bit of a Morbid Angel influence, an aesthetic vibe that feels like various Greek occult death/black bands, and a creepy melodic sensibility to the riffs that keeps things very, very, very dark. There’s no way you can call this anything other than “excellent,” whether it turns you into a huge N.C. fan or not. Better than 99% of death metal bands that have emerged since the burnout of the mid ’90s.
— Friar Wagner

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