Necros Christos - Doom of the Occult
Sepulchral Voice Records
Death Metal
23 songs (01:13:04)
Release year: 2011
Necros Christos, Sepulchral Voice
Reviewed by Charles
Let me cleanse the twee sounds of the new Septicflesh record from my ears with something less pretty. Necros Christos have some intriguing associations of noteworthy hideousness, sharing a label with the brilliant (now defunct) Excoriate and releasing splits with underground luminaries such as Teitanblood, two of my favourite death metal acts of recent times. They share some key features with the latter; most notably in their penchant for extended interludes- church organs, menacing acoustic flourishes, that sort of thing- luxuriating in deviant atmospherics. Doom of the Occult, in fact, is structured meticulously to achieve the requisite deathly aura. 23 tracks here divide into ten death metal tunes and thirteen asides, alternatingly called ‘Temple’ and 'Gate'. So the record settles into a repeated loop of ‘interlude-fucking death metal-interlude’, for over an hour. Gruelling, but not without moments that make it worth persevering with, and the band toil hard to hew out a distinctive and imposing approach to their art.

This is a slow and extravagantly doomy take on death metal, with deep, growling riffs evoking either Teitanblood again or one of Covenant-era Morbid Angel’s slower numbers. But where those bands are dirty and chaotic, Necros Christos is gloweringly focused on extracting maximum impact from their low, low tempos, and the entire album barely progresses past a jogging pace. Tracks rumble like a vast empty stomach, never twisting and turning but instead locking into one relatively simple idea after another. This approach is workmanlike but largely effective, with tracks like the ten-minute suite Doom of Kali Maa-Pyramid of Shakti Love-Flame of Master Shiva crawling agonisingly but decisively through crunching riffs and bogged-down grooves. Sparse usage of synth organs and other ornamentations serve to add colour to occasional climaxes but are wisely restrained, letting these sodden guitar tones speak for themselves. Succumbed to Sarkum Phagum cultivates an imperious stride, with uncharacteristically rapidfire double kick drumming underpinning a lumpen morass of rhythm guitar, building to a moaning lead solo.

Necros Christos’s down-tempo, groove-oriented approach yields some fine moments, occasionally plucking out perfectly ripe riffs, which are pungent and squishy. At other points, for sure, it feels like it’s sagging, particularly when we keep returning to these lengthy interludes. Oftentimes, the writhing, pulsating brutality which defines the other bands mentioned above is really missed. Ultimately, though, this has to be approached like a pig hunting for succulent truffles. Amidst a fairly unmanageable parade of sinister atmospherics and churning distortion, there are moments of admirably sour-faced death metal.

Killing Songs :
Doom of Kali Maa - Pyramid of Shakti Love - Flame of Master Shiva, Necromantique Nun, Succumbed to Sarkum Phagum
Charles quoted 74 / 100
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