Nekromantheon – Visions of Trismegistos [Things you Might Have Missed 2021]

Norwegian trio Nekromantheon smashed out a terrific cult hit on 2012’s Rise, Vulcan Spectre. Offering a raw, vicious contemporary take on old school thrash, Nekromantheon draw influence from old school Slayer, Dark Angel and early Sepultura, coupled with a nasty underground edge. Visions of Trismegistos marked the long-gestating and triumphant return from these excellent no-frills purveyors of piss and vinegar fueled thrash. Boasting an obvious affiliation with the ’80s thrash scene, Nekromantheon lay waste to polished modern interpreters and rethrashing competitors, by offering a wilder, nastier aesthetic, built upon tried and true pillars of riffs, riffs and more fucking riffs, a relentless vacuum of speed, and raw, bloodthirsty aggression.

Nearly a decade since their sophomore album, Nekromantheon return like no time has passed, taking the listener on a frantic hellride through 32 sandblasted minutes of top-notch, old school thrash. Nary a moment is wasted, Nekromantheon spew forth killer riff after killer riff, cut with wildly unhinged soloing, hammering percussion, and harsh, throaty howls. Nekromantheon’s unhinged, relentless mode of aural assault remains as savage as ever, yet memorable and oddly accessible. Frankly, the trio could give two fucks about trends or innovation, admirably sticking to their guns and releasing another teeth kicking thrash platter.

Each song features noteworthy, arse-kicking moments across a typically lean, mean and consistent collection. High-quality riffs abound, equipped with suitably clear, yet organic, nasty tones, bolster tunes ideal for soundtracking pillaging, looting and all-round hellraising. The frantic pacing and wildly chaotic leads pave the way to domination on the opening title track. “Faustian Rites” is all about rampant speed and unchained aggression, while “Scorched Earth” features an effective opening salvo of restrained, ominous atmosphere, before releasing the hounds with their trademark shredding attack of belligerent thrash. The lack of bullshit interludes or half-baked instrumentals ensures the album’s momentum does not let up, as Nekromantheon cap off a neatly executed mission of destruction on the more dynamic, yet equally explosive closing salvo, “Zealot Reign,” featuring an absolutely killer mid-song groove, replete with gripping six-string fireworks.

Although Nekromatheon’s triumphant return didn’t quite earn them honors on my end-of-year list, I couldn’t be happier to have them back on deck, sounding so enraged and full of fire and adrenaline. Visions of Trismegistos garnered many a listen and I am far from tired of its gnarly style and cutthroat execution. My only minor quibble is the material falls slightly below the outstanding quality of its esteemed predecessor, and the band shows little to no signs of breaking the mold or exploring new territories. That being said, I probably wouldn’t want Nekromantheon any other way.

Ever since my ears were blasted by Rise, Vulcan Spectre I have hoped for an eventual return from a band that seemed destined for great things. Nekromantheon may not achieve the level of popularity as some of their modern thrash peers, but their steadfast commitment to the uglier, underground aesthetics of ’80s thrash offers a refreshing blast of chaotic fun in the modern thrash scene. Visions of Trismegistos delivers in spades and is a long overdue return from a mighty fine thrash unit.

Tracks to Check Out: ”The Visions of Trismegistos”, “Faustian Rites,” “Scorched Death,” Zealot Reign”

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