Written by: Blackie Skulless
I can almost always count on Blood Harvest to deliver some of the nastiest, filthiest, and most unlovable music that’s ever been unearthed. Nekus are a German act that cooks up horrific soundscapes that fit this description perfectly. Their debut album Death Nova Upon The Barren Harvest casts some striking imagery based from the black and death metal voids. The dirtiness of the former crossed with the filthiness of the latter is why this takes such monstrous form.
There are only four tracks, none being overly long besides the ten-minute closer “Dagger Of The Corrupter,” so it’s actually a fairly swift listen. But truthfully, it all feels like one massive song. The common core of droning riffs that feel like a constant swarm of hornets clouding up small hints of comprehensive rhythm saturates every track with ungodly amounts of weight. If it weren’t for the rather steady drum patterns, you’d have a hard time finding the direction of where things are headed.
Placed atop all of this are horrid shrieks and growls that pile on fearful imagery. Picture something along the lines of Witchbones’ The Seas Of Draugen, as there is no sign of anything loveable in the slightest. Truly, efforts like Death Nova Upon The Barren Harvest are some of the most jarring ones out there, because of how quickly they can create such discomfort in a way that is somewhat desirable, depending on your mood.
On the other hand, this approach is unfortunately very prone to stagnation, which is why it’s a good thing that it’s a shorter release (staying under the 30 minute line). When I said that the four songs almost sound like one, it’s because these dark overcasts force everything together. That said, there are noticeable differences here and there. “Necromancer’s Death Chant” is significantly doomier than the rest, mostly with the clashing percussion and the stompier riffs. There’s also some slight build-up halfway through this one, leading to blasting kicks with a resolution. Even the vocals on the long closer hit a different level of crushing, emitting sounds reminiscent to a crying goat.
I always find myself coming back to this type of release after a few months, because it’s the kind that grows on you. Very few will be able to digest something like Nekus their first time. There’s an extremely specific mood that’s needed, and some of these jarring ingredients are difficult to take in large amounts, especially when the variation gets harder to find. There’s not a single ounce of light being shed here. If you like blackened death efforts that revel in extreme discomfort, give this a listen, and check out the aforementioned Witchbones album as well.
Nekus - Death Nova Upon The Barren Harvest will be released July 17th from Blood Harvest Records
Nekus can be found:
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!