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Necrowretch - Putrid Death Sorcery

Necrowretch
Putrid Death Sorcery
by Dorothy Cheng at 07 March 2013, 3:17 PM

I like Black Metal: that crazy, demonic rebellion against everything in existence. Black Metal is to me, one of the more eccentric subgenres of Heavy Metal. If I could use a metaphor, thrash metal would be a high street retail shop, death metal would be a custom, edgy label, and Black Metal would be a couture brand. It is almost fashionably eccentric. I realize now that this statement could get me murdered but what the hell. I also like death metal. The fact that I can compare them to custom fashion labels is really a mark of the genre’s attention to technique and detail that I love so much.

Once in a while, a reviewer stumbles across bands like NECROWRETCH, who personally identify as death metal but sound more like Black Metal, and could in actuality be both. That’s hardly a problem though; it’s just getting the best of both worlds. It’s getting a couture label that puts out fashion shows with custom made everything's from curtains to plastic chairs with fake blood smothered on the model’s faces. It’s very interesting, but there’s a lot to live up to. NECROWRETCH’S new album "Putrid Death Sorcery" is an incarnation of its name. It has its Death Metal elements, but it also sears with a “magic” or “sorcery” if you will, that just leads back to the essence of Black Metal.

This is evident in several characteristics, from vocalist Vlad’s higher pitched vocals and one-off growls, and also in the general more atmosphere-focused instrumentals. The production also seemed very Black Metal to me, with the usual thickness and crunchiness of death metal absent, replaced instead by an almost wistful base sound with seemingly twang guitars. “Goat-Headed”, “Putrid Death Sorcery”, and “The Antrhopomancer” were standout tracks for me, with breakneck speeds, interesting harmonies, and great solos appearing in the last two tracks, all with significantly Death Metal-esque bridges with insane riffing and madness on the drums.

It makes me happy when musicians go loony. It shows that they suffer for their art. Anyway, back to the point I’ve been trying to make: Is NECROWRETCH going through an identity crisis? And even if they are, is it necessarily a bad thing? Kierkegaard would be proud of me for being such an annoyingly inquisitive twat, asking questions when I already know the answer. Well, I take my philosophy just as seriously as NECROWRETCH takes their music. I also like making leading statements such as the sentence before this, proving only that heavy metal music serves as a great mental stimulant, contrary to popular opinion.

Listening through the entire album until the very end, I realized what an ass I was for trying to label the band as Death / Black Metal. Sometimes they are death, sometimes they are black (much like EMINEM), but who cares? It’s good music! I liked how evil yet poised and professional they seemed through their music, their personality running through every fiber, drawing out the best in both genres and combining it masterfully in an album that can categorically be best described as “music”. Not “Black Metal” or “Death Metal”, or “Black / Death Metal”, just music. Yeah, that’s my expert opinion.

It’s not to say that the album was flawless. I mean, the only reason there are so many reviewers still working today is because none of them have found the perfect record yet. If they did, they would stop working and become a hobo for eternity, with nothing but an MP3 player full of the music from the “perfect record” to sustain them the rest of their lives. I know of no such reviewer or record.

That being said, the flaws of the album are not many and are mild in nature. Through their work in the album, the band gave me the impression that they were hell of musicians, so I was expecting them to surprise me at some point with some out-of-place genius ballad or perhaps some far-out technical chizz but they didn’t. I guess you could say they kept it simple, which was just a slight disappointment despite the fact that they seemed to me like one of those bands that would blow your mind with their godlike musical prowess at least once in the album.

All in all, it’s a great record. Not exactly Death or Black Metal, so if you’re one of those people who listen strictly to one sub-genre *ahem-weirdo* this isn’t for you. But if you like all Heavy Metal music, and enjoy the thought of a band coming up with good shit instead of just marketable shit, then this album is for you. 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ripping Souls of Sinners
2. Purifying Torment
3. Goat-Headed
4. Putrid Death Sorcery
5. Impious Plague in Catacombs
6. Spewed From Hell
7. Defiler of Sacrality
8. The Anthropomancer
9. Soiled Into a Crypt
10. Necrollections
11. Repugnizer
Lineup:
Vlad – Vocals / Guitars
Amphycion – Bass
Mörkk – Drums (Session)
Record Label: Century Media
     


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