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Nekroi Theoi - Dead Gods

Nekroi Theoi
Dead Gods
by Jack Harding at 06 August 2019, 5:49 PM

A masterpiece never arrives fully formed, as if plucked from the aether. As much as we may romanticize the creative process, there is a less exciting reality filled with failed experimentation, development and refinement. Sometimes an artist needs to explore their own style before marching onwards to forge their true masterpiece. Whilst far from their masterpiece, NEKROI THEOI have created an incredibly intriguing record with “Dead Gods” that teases future genius. Playing out almost like an artists sketchpad, across an hour we see a band explore their own musical identity, and begin to define themselves. This all comes to a climatic conclusion, and statement of intent for the future, with quite possibly the strongest song of the year so far.

This journey of discovery is apparent from the opening track, “Doxology” opening with atmospheric, yet aimless, guitars punctuated with sparse drumming. Whilst the atmosphere created within these opening moments is indeed haunting, inflicting the listener with a sense of melancholy and tension, the music remains generally formless. A slight narrative is brought in later with the addition of more distorted guitars, but other than this, the song remains a wonderful environment, with no guide or protagonist to lead us through. It simply feels like something is missing from the song. Be it a lead line or even a video, something to give the music context is sorely needed, but the individual parts are all effective.

Whilst absolutely phenomenal songs (truly stellar examples of Brutal Death Metal), “Swine Cull” and “Blue Shirt White Hood,” feel somewhat out of place on this album. Both of these tracks are pure Caveman Slam. Incredibly enjoyable, but somewhat juxtaposed negatively with more experimental efforts such as “The Name Above All Names,” which seamlessly blends Black Metal, Death Metal and Slam with effortless style. They simply feel too easy for a band as forward thinking as this, and therefore stick out. They feel as if they are older tracks written way before the band began experimenting with their sound. They’ll work great as live tracks to mosh thoughtlessly to, but this album is not the best context for these tracks. In addition to this, spoken word sections, particularly on “Blue Shirt White Hood," feel incredibly out of place, with their monotone and uninvolved drawl. If spoken word is to be part of the NEKROI THEOI sound, it must be used with conviction and passion. Currently, the spoken word saps life from the incredibly energetic instrumentals with their monotony.

Whilst all of this experimentation has lead to a slightly eclectic sounding, although consistently enjoyable album, it is in dire need of a firm conclusion. This conclusion comes in the form of title track, “Dead Gods”. This is no longer a band searching for their signature sound. This is a band that now knows what they are, and will create music that is uniquely theirs. This is a statement of intent and a blueprint for the future, and it is quite simply mind-blowing. Progressive Metal is fully embraced. With clean verses juxtaposing with the sheer brutality of Brutal Death Metal, Black Metal and even Doom, something truly spectacular has been created. This is a band that is going places and you would be a fool to not join them on their journey to the top. This album isn’t perfect, but the next one definitely could be.

Songwriting: 9/10
Originality: 8/10
Memorability: 8/10
Production: 8/10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Doxology
2. The Foul Eucharist
3. Simony Of Hollow Christs
4. Swine Cull
5. The Name Above All Names
6. Blue Shirt White Hood
7. Ancient Of Days
8. Empty Glory
9. Dead Gods
Lineup:
Shiv - Vocals
Mark - Guitars
Luke - Guitars
Matt - Bass Guitar
Dustin - Drums
Record Label: Prosthetic Records
     


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