If there’s anything The Vengaboys and I share, it’s a fondness for partying1. I, however, happen to hate humans and avoid them at all costs. I only come for the ladies and the drankz, exercising the rights I fight for by drunkenly sequestering myself with the pets and lamenting the host’s inferior musical preferences. With such powerful anti-socialism comes observational responsibility, and years of glaring from the shadows has shown me there are many ways to party. Some “people” consider partying to mean humping anything that moves on an overcrowded dance floor as subwoofers shit themselves. In my admittedly crimson neck of the woods, encircling a fire to the sounds of country and crushing cans is the done thing. We angry scholars of metal trvth, however, know that the best way to party is to grab a cold one, dial it to 11, and praise Satan until either daylight or law enforcement arrives. That said, someone get the door: it’s The Necromancers, here to prove this trvism.
Hailing Satan from Poitiers, France, they knock politely for 20 seconds before bursting in to commandeer the stereo. We’re listening to Servants of the Salem Girl now, and that’s that. Within moments the air is thick with fuzzy guitars, and unless somebody’s handling the snacks poorly then I believe I’m also getting a whiff of brimstone. In short order, Servants gets and keeps heads moving the good old fashion way: bitchin’ riffage and songs about the Devil. Intro track “Salem Girl Part I” rocks and rolls its way through Hell for 7 minutes of headbanging fun, and each successive track ensures the rabble-rousing remains roofless and irreverent, Ole Scratch getting namedropped in every song. As riff after riff dances with all manner of evil lyric, I expect Satan to show up with a sixsixsix-pack at any moment. A guy could get used to this.
Who are these dudes, anyway? Servants being the quartet’s debut, I had to ask around before inviting them. A mutual, Steely friend of ours introduced them as a stoner-metal act, and some light Facebook stalking found the band labeling themselves as heavy occult rock. Some here are genre snobs, and some of y’all are genre-blind, but you’ll likely all agree on one thing: The Necromancers make heavy fucking metal. Sweet shots of rock riffs are toasted to the memory of Motörhead in “Lucifer’s Kin,” and “Salem Girl Part II” finds guitarists Tom and Rob – the latter of which delivers the exquisite biker bar growls – beer-chugging their way through modern metal aggression a la Fireball Ministry and Orange Goblin. When the dudes do downers and dole out doom, such as during “Grand Orbiter,” it’s in the vein of Destroyer of Light, rather than the soul-hollowing Saturnus method. With so much intoxication and no downsides to speak of, the bro-down remains an Animal House instead of going Train Spotting, and nary an unmetal moment is to be had.
While Servants is a debut, this shindig feels like it was thrown by professionals, with influences serving as inspiration rather than imitation. Moreover, you can hear that these guys are having fun, perhaps most apparently in Rob’s aggressive Machine Head-y vocals. Every line he sings/roars resonates with the intense conviction of one deeply enjoying their craft, lending a charged authenticity to an atmosphere already palpable with character. The final product is a wild celebration honoring the best parts of rock, doom, and traditional heavy metal, all blended together with a refreshingly clear mix. This party is lit, fam.
At some point, though, someone wades through the broken glass and various puddles, turns the music off, and sends everyone home. Last track, already?! As with most parties, my main issue with Servants is that it doesn’t last forever. Frankly I’m a little pissed that it only parties for 45ish minutes, I think it should do so longer. However, this was some of the most fun I’ve had with metal in years, so I suppose I’ll forgive them.
All in all, The Necromancers are absolutely invited to party again any time. They didn’t trash the place with shitty mastering, the fuzzy tone they brought was quite nice, and they even had the decency to show up with artwork that didn’t match anyone else’s. Best of all, they left behind a shiny new AotY contender, assuming these jams don’t break my neck before then. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to Ibiza2.