While death metal as a genre has diversified a lot over the years, something about the primordial old school sound of the late 80’s and early 90’s continues to hold a hypnotic hold over me. If you’re like me, then this year should already be shaping up to be a treat for you. With stellar releases from both old school legends that shaped the style and modern bands co-opting the old school ethos to create their own sound, a death metal fan has been spoilt for choices these past few months. If I had to zero in on one such release this month, then my vote goes to the debut full length release from Oakland, California based trio Necrot. This supergroup (consisting of members from Atrament, Vastum, Acephalix etc) dropped ‘Blood Offerings’ through Tankcrime Records recently and this record is a prime example of a band assimilating the old school sound while transcending the tag of a “tribute” band.
Necrot seem to believe in the old adage about things that are not broken and they are totally right about it.
The band’s love for the riff places their sound close to that of Bolt Thrower and Autopsy. This is not to say the sound is mimicked. Rather, it is an inspired take on the style. Necrot are quite the riff crafters and this is not surprising considering the experience at play here. Right from the first few notes of opener The Blade, there is an infectiousness that is impossible to ignore. The mid paced riff barrage evokes nostalgic memories of discovering death metal for the first time, keeping the listener engaged throughout. Necrot’s ability to write a tune is unquestionable considering how every single track manages to make a unique impression in the minds of the listener.
Following the one-two punch of the opening tracks the band takes things into thrashier territory with Shadows and Light. There is a lot to love about Necrot aside from the riffs. The subtle punk influences in the drumming and the throaty growls add a good dynamic to the sound. The lead work that is peppered throughout adds a special touch of flair to an already impressive performance. Necrot seem to believe in the old adage about things that are not broken and they are totally right about it. The attention to detail here is impeccable and everything down to the tone of the guitars is aimed at emulating that old school death metal sound. Every track here hits that sweet spot in terms of run time, with not a single track overstaying it’s welcome.
There’s not a lot of bad things to say about Necrot’s debut release. Sure, one might complain that ‘Blood Offerings’ treads familiar waters. But does it matter when there is so much fun to be had? This is an album that has an extremely high replay value on account of engaging and addicting the riffs are. Fans of death metal, do not sleep on this one.