Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Mortality: the state of being subject to death. A word us humans are all accustomed to, a fact of life that we accept is inescapable. No wonder why death metal bands and artists talk in such detail about it. While other artists outside of the heavy music scene tend to write about things that are more positive and universal, we tend to focus on the darker side. It's a cathartic release, and it helps us cope with the certainty of dying.
Necrot's newest album Mortal may seem like a simple title, but it's much more heavy than just surface-level definitions. This is the Califorinia death metal trio's second album, and it is much anticipated by all, myself included. So with all of this hype and anticipation, does Necrot deliver? We shall see...
The album begins with the gut-punch of "Your Hell." And oh my, it is fantastic. The riffs are slimy and sludgy, the drums pummel, and the bass rumbles with a mighty roar. I need compliment the guitar work of Sonny Reinhardt. His choice of phrasing and solos, as well as his guitar tone on this album are stellar. "Dying Life" and "Stench of Decay" keep the momentum of the album at an upward pace. These songs in particular ram up the brutality (not that it was absent), but still remain very hooky and engaging. I love that the subtle use of melody in this album as it builds with each song and really gives the tunes more impact.
But the second half of the album is where the album shines. Songs like "Asleep Forever" and"Sinister Will" are particular highlights. I love the monstrous grooves of "Asleep Forever." These riffs are mammoth-sized and smack so hard. "Sinister WIll" is the most unique song on the album due to the marching rhythmic pattern of the drumming, courtesy of Chad Gailey, and the strangely soulful solo in the middle of the song. I'm not a blues expert but the solo is quite bluesy to me in a weird and fucked up death metal context.
The last two tracks on the album, "Malevolent Intentions" and "Mortal," showcase the darkest side of the band. Though these songs are still in the vein of the album, the atmosphere takes a turn into pitch-black territories, particularly the closer "Mortal." The main riff here is one of the top five best riffs on the album, it absolutely levels in every sense. Undeniable groove, keen sense of melody, but with an extra dose of darkness. A stellar way to close out the album.
As usual, the production needs to be spoken about. I absolutely love it! Greg Wilkinson killed it with the production. He has really perfected a natural sound, with that warm analog feeling to everything. There's still clarity to the instruments, but it keeps the rawness that I feel that death metal needs. I also loved his use of reverb on everything, particularly the vocals. Reverb is always a great thing, and there's no such thing as enough. I can confidently say that Mr. Wilkinson is "the" death metal producer of the past 10+ years.
So with all of that in mind, was the hype for this album warranted? Short answer, YES! While I can't say that this album is breaking any new ground in death metal, this is an extremely fun, enjoyable, and primitive listen. I have absolutely no complaints about this album whatsoever. The performances are stellar, the production is fantastic, and the passion is there. Like most of you know, I'm an old-school and raw death metal guy myself, so I couldn't highly recommend this enough. If you are a Necrot fan, you're going to adore this. And honestly, if you are someone who is trying to get into death metal but still wants melody and hooks in your music, I strongly urge you to check this album out. Go grab a fucking copy of this album and let the band know how you feel about it, they seem like great guys an deserve the praise they've been receiving, Congratulations Luca, Sonny, and Chad. You've done a fantastic job!
Necrot - Mortal was released August 28th, 2020 from Tankcrimes
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!