• PRE-ORDER - NEKROMANTHEON - Rise, Vulcan Spectre LP
HIGH ROLLER RECORDS
BONE WHITE VINYL
Norway has produced a number of rich thrash revivalist gems lately, including efforts from fellow Kolbotn band Condor and others, like Deathhammer, who just released a solid third album. Nekromantheon have made their way, violent and imperial, to the top of the nation's scene, and quite arguably far beyond. Their brand of tightly constructed pandemonium, channeling with sincerity the Grecian mythological themes which they've chosen to augment the music's focused riff-oriented structure, rises alongside names like Hypnosia and Antichrist for some of the best thrash released in the past decade and a half.
While the 2010 album Divinity of Death was very good, Rise, Vulcan Spectre hits a new plateau of memorable songwriting and admirable musicianship. The songs are cohesively structured and every facet contributes to the overall mystique: bellowing, entranced vocals showing great timing and lyrical choice (see: take this crimson offering!!! before the solo in "Blood Wisdom"), frantic but economical leads and solos, sharply executed staccato riffing that forms some really fantastic patterns of ordered-chaos, weight-adding bass, and last but definitely not least, some of the best drumming you're likely to hear in thrash metal; consistent, chaotic, and creative, like old Kreator at its best, with more instrumental acumen and ability--powerful fills all over the place, and utilized as a great tool for pacing and the building of tension within the album's quasi-theatric presentation.
The presentation is one of the album's most notable aspects. Nekromantheon clearly put a lot of detailed, perfectionistic work into developing a sound that not only (fully) satisfies the baseline thrash metal quota of powerful riffs and overall instrumental performance, but the songs are written to express very specific atmospheres. You can see the Greek god Vulcan on the cover, crafting a sword from molten metal, and that piece of evocative art is a good indication of the music to come. The band members work in tandem, as alluded to--the title track's heroic chorus of Rise, Vulcan Spectre!!! showcases a rising of the quality of the music from a fantastic assemblage of instrumental thrash metal pyrotechnics to something even more concentrated and ceremonious. From the archetypal perspective of someone like Carl Jung, the ancient gods of Western society are resurrected and embodied in these moments, channeled through these instruments and the intentions of these three Norwegians. Vulcan comes to life at several moments throughout this release, and not merely as a spectre, but a fully enfleshed vessel of cataclysmic fire and fine craftsmanship--as he is associated with "both the destructive and fertilizing powers of fire."
One of the top "concept" thrash metal albums ever released, and certainly in the top handful post-2k, fulfilling every criterion for what makes good thrash.