Necrovorous //Funeral for the Sane
Rating: 4.0/5.0 —Greek salad of death!! [You’re stretchin’ it there, buddy. – AMG]
Label: Pulverised Records
Release Dates: Out Now!
Loyal readers of these Angry Metal Pages are doubtlessly aware of my affinity for old school Swedish death metal (SDM) akin to the likes of old Entombed, Grave and Dismember (disloyal readers are to be shunned and publicly shamed). Those same readers will also be aware of my love for the retro movement in the genre spearheaded by the likes of Bloodbath, Entrails and Interment. Because the old school SDM style has such a grim, crusty and powerful vibe, it doesn’t bother me in the least when retro bands utilize the sound without much innovation, as long as its done well. Kindly add Necrovorous to the growing list of bands doing it really fucking well with their debut Funeral for the Sane. Hailing from Greece, these gents take the classic early ’90s sound of SDM and scrape in influences from primitive American acts as well as some grindcore. The results are ugly, scabby and about as nasty as shit on scrambled eggs.
As soon as opener “Succubus Dormitory” kicks in (best song title of the year BTW), its 100% straight ahead, no nonsense death with a raw, unrefined sound that really grabbed me and held my attention. There’s a heavy, buzzing guitar tone, really vicious, guttural death vox and some rabid drumming. Probably most similar to the early demos and first album of Entombed, there’s also similarities to Massacre (From Beyond era), early Death (demos and Scream Bloody Gore) and flashes of old Pestilence and Autopsy for the discerning death ear. Its a chaotic, merciless track with a real manic intensity and its pure old school glory all the way. The simple but aggressive riffs are addictive and memorable and man, the vocals are just flat out great. People say death vocals can be boring but these are brutal and wildly intense. The cranium thumping continues with “The Flesh That Smiles” which is even uglier and utterly loathsome (including cool guitar effects starting at 0:20). There’s a slimy, phlegmy charm to their style and and I can’t get enough of it. Other standouts include “The Vilest of All Dreams” with its slow, murky doom interwoven with pulverizing thrashy death and the absolute nuclear shit storm of “Mind Lacerations,” with its relentless grind and thick, evil vox (the solo at 4:00 stands out with its eerie horror movie feel). Every song has that old school punch and all are top shelf twisted, writhing death. Not light speed and technical like Hate Eternal, its far more low-fi, low-tech and sludgy. If Hate Eternal is a stealth bomber jet, Necrovorous is a Sherman tank. It’s going to roll over your body and grind you into red, gooey paste and keep right on going with little flare or technical flourish.
The guitars by A. Devilpig (yes, that’s his real name) and Soul Extractor are simple, raw but surprisingly sticky and memorable. They bash the hell out of you with big doomy power grooves and nasty thrash riffs. Mr. Extractor isn’t big on solos and several of the songs have none at all. When he does deign to solo they tend to be minimalist, creepy and horror filmy (although the opening solo of “Dwellers of My Flesh” is more epic and grandiose). In fact, his solo style is pretty close to the style on the Entrails album. Mr. Devilpig also handles vocals and he’s excellent at sounding evil, anguished and deranged. His performance makes this album a real success and he’s now one of my favorite death vocalists. Not to be outdone, the drumming of Shit Eater (not sure if that’s his real name) is powerful and punishing without relying on blast beats (he seems to consciously avoid them and it doesn’t hurt the intensity one bit). Lastly, the production is raw and murky but good enough to hear every grunt, gurgle.
I love these unexpected surprises by unheralded groups. If you’ve enjoyed bands like Bloodbath or Miasmal and have a softness for grotesque old school death, this must be heard. There isn’t a trace of “modern death metal” here and Steel Druhm is pleased as punch about that. Its filthy, dirty and makes you need a shower after listening. That’s the sign of good death. In closing let me just say, THIS IS SPARTA!!!!! Yeah, I went there.