• NECROT - Mortal CD/CS
The artwork is usually not something one talks about at the very start of an album review, but the flayed corpses drawn by Marald Van Haasteren are bound to make your skin crawl even without the actual music, which serves as a forewarning for what is to come. The cover has an old-school vibe that reminded me of Death or Gruesome, as well as Ed Repka‘s classic artworks. More importantly, these comparisons are provided with their fair justice by the music of the Bay Area trio. Necrot have been around for nearly a decade, starting out in 2011 with a punk-meets-death metal sound. After a string of demos, it was only in 2017 that they put out their first full-length Blood Offerings. By then, the punk elements in their music had been dialed down, and the sound was much more of a straight-in-your-face, no-filler style of death metal. That caught the attention of many (including myself), with added expectations for the future. Hence, it is great to see that the trio have progressed further and refined their sound in what is bound to be one of the most essential no-nonsense death metal albums of the year.
The music here is not super technical or preformed at a crazy, inhuman pace; it is neither raw and old-school nor heavily influenced by a single legendary band of the genre. It is just death metal, the kind that either crushes or rips apart anything in its path while getting necks moving and heads bobbing to its heavy beats and groovy riffs. Opener “Your Hell” can be very true to its name for the unprepared listener, wasting no time to settle into a mid-tempo pace reminiscent of early ’90s Bolt Thrower. It continues this no-letup barrage well into “Dying Life” but avoids becoming monotonous with some well-executed shifts and riff changes. These sudden transitions never feel overly technical, but they have enough force to create a jarring sensation in the listener’s head, keeping them aware and on their toes.