As death metal continues its decade-long rebuild from the ground up, more and more acts are taking the genre on long and strange trips, often times, making highly successful forays back to whence it once came. Enter Oakland’s Necrot and their new (not so new) album The Labyrinth.
Not so new because it’s been culled together from three long out-of-print demos. However, The Labyrinth is the first proper full length album available to the masses from this act with the extreme and impressive pedigree that counts within its ranks current and former members of such metal luminaries as Vastum, Watch Them Die, and Saviours, just to name a few. But don’t expect Necrot to sound anything like its members previous projects. In fact if you are looking for acts that have a similar sound and vibe to what Necrot is putting down you’re going to have to go back in time first. Way back.
Somewhere in the history of death metal slick production, triggered drums, and a less overall creepy aesthetic started to become more and more of the norm. As more bands reached for the golden “melodic” ring the true masters of the genre were seemingly left rolling in their proverbial graves while tying to maintain some semblance of ferocity to the music. Bands like Necrot seem to exist for the sole purpose of blotting out that period of death metal history. Their brand of brutality is dealt with extreme prejudice to anyone foolish enough to get in the way of the run away tank that is this collection of songs. From galloping rhythms to chunky breakdowns to torrid blasts, Necrot seem to have gotten their collective hands on a copy of the old school death metal playbook and rewritten it for the next generation of battle vest wearing degenerates.
There are bands that might play faster. There are bands that might play with more technicality. But there are few bands in the world playing death metal as savagely oppressive as Necrot. I defy anyone to listen to that opening riff on album-opener “Consume Control” or the headbanging breakdown contained within “Rebirth In Chaos” and try to kid themselves into finding more than a select handful of bands that can simultaneously worship the ways of the old and forge their own cobweb covered, decrepit path the way this band can. Fans of such mighty acts as Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, and Autopsy should be purchasing this album post haste.
The Labyrinth will be hitting the streets on April 15 via the Tankcrimes label. In the meantime you can check out the tracks “Into The Labyrinth” and the aforementioned “Rebirth In Chaos” via the Tankcrimes Bandcamp page.