Necromicon - _Realm of Silence_
(Impure Creations Records, 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (7 out of 10)
If fast black metal is what you crave, then look no further than this speedy sextet's well-produced debut. _RoS_ features some ferocious music, played with uncommon skill and blessed with a great mix and clear, sharp production. Style-wise, Necromicon is especially comparable to Swordmaster, in that they write four- to five-minute songs built around cool, razor-sharp riffs underpinned by thundering, whirlwind percussion (with plenty of double bass drumming in parts). Lead vocals are done in the standard black metal style, with the occasional blood-curdling shriek (and I mean -shriek-) thrown in for good measure. Keyboards are used more or less sparingly. "Gates of Grief" and "The Hated One" blast, stomp, and gallop madly along and sound just killer - especially in the latter song's totally unpredictable leap from crazed black metal surf riffing to blazing soloing over choppy rhythm guitars and rocking backbeat! (Gosh, I sure hope this is not too upsetting to the more "true" among us...) But despite moments like these, the album as a whole has a certain by-the-numbers feel to it. The great playing and production make for quite enjoyable listening, but most of the songs are long on style and short on memorable musical substance. It's cool-sounding stuff, for sure, but it really isn't very original at all, so it lacks the artistic impact of the genre's more imaginative acts.

(article published 2/1/1997)


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