Necrowretch
Swords of Dajjal

Years ago I came upon the Putrid Death Sorcery debut album from Necrowretch, a French death metal band.  I reviewed the impressive album and was able to be in touch with vocalist/guitarist Vlad and interviewed him as well.  I have followed this band closely over the years reviewing the majority of their albums and continuing to be thoroughly impressed with their musical output even with the band morphing a heavy heaping of black metal into their already proven death metal selves.

Swords of Dajjal, the band’s fifth full-length album, sees Necrowretch incorporating, some melodic passages to their already brutal blackened death metal sound.  The band has always had striking album covers and this one, with the Salem’s Lot, vibe, Dajjal depiction, I am getting, is pretty freaking creepy, as this pierced demon looks like he is about to slaughter some Christians.

We see Vlad returning with a relatively new band with W. Cadaver returning on lead guitar from the previous album, The Ones from Hell.  New blood: N. Destroyer on drums and R. Cadaver on bass are seamlessly interwoven into the Necrowretch sound.  The drumming may be the very best on any Necrowretch album – ferocity and creativity behind the drum kit – this dude wants to rip off your face, as do these 8 songs.

All the band’s albums have hovered around the same run time 35-39 minutes and no difference here at 37 minutes, this album is striking.  I would venture to say this album is conceptual in approach and the dude on the cover is the evil Dajjal.  Without getting too into the weeds, Dajjal is an evil demon, in the Islamic religion, and he is the equivalent of what the Antichrist is to Christianity.

 

“Ksar Al-Kufar” starts with a nice little guitar intro and then the drums hit and the production will slap you silly across the face with the speed kicking into high gear and the snare sound is perfect – it slaps hard.  The song slows down to a mid-paced speed with Vlad doing his raspy black metal snarls. The guitar melodies incorporated are terrific and then the song picks up the pace again then slows back down and the lead guitar riff is excellent.  I picked up on a pinch harmonic or two across this song and they are well executed. Guitar melodies come back into the picture as the song slows down and Vlad lays down a real good growl-expertly timed.

“The Fifth Door” is up next and is faster than its predecessor.  Isolated guitar riff at the start, then BOOM, right into the blast beat.  The first song was devoid of them, but as we saw pretty much after the band’s debut album, the introduction of blast beats came to fruition with the onset of the black metal influences.  This opening is fast AF and tight as hell.  Vlad’s vocals are pretty damn evil on this song.  Slowing things down brings forth some ethereal guitar solos which are excellent.   Coming out of the slower section is a monstrous blast with Vlad letting loose on one of the best growl’s he’s ever done and the vocals over this part are more of a shouting type of vocal, very clear and aggressive.  I like this inclusion and moment quite a lot and is one of the highlights on this album.

The title track is another great song with a scorching guitar riff that gets into a 90’s death metal speed, before the faster section takes over and the main guitar riff is extremely catchy.  Mid-way through the song is some rumbling slower heavier moments with excellent double bass and creative drum rolls – beating the hell out of those toms!!!

The album closes with the longest song, at over six minutes “Total Obliteration” kind of sums up the entire album.  Without a nary of the a micro second to catch your breath the song immediately begins with a scorching blast beat. The instrumentation is strong, especially with the isolated guitar riffing and the drum hitting, 1, 2, 3, the drum roll and then right into a brutal blast, but this pacing and style has been a signature Necrowretch approach over the last several albums, with how the blasting pattern is, and when they do these really catchy moments..well,…these are some of my favorite moments in all of extreme underground music.  Monstrous double bass drums, more blasting, and brutality and the song ends with the acoustic elements taking over.

Swords of Dajjal is the band’s strongest album since their Putrid Death Sorcery debut, from 2013.  I think it could be due to the fact, I just find this album catchier than previous efforts, and while their other albums are pretty much high up there on the Rini playlist, Swords of Dajjal is another level of evilness, which is resonating with me a lot in 2024.

This is the best produced Necrowretch album and while this album is well-played and quite violent sounding, Vlad never forgets the melodic and catchy moments, which adds to the memorable factor. 2024 just started, but this album is screaming, I want to make it to Rini’s 2024 best of list already…and quite honestly I am sure it will.  Scorching from start to finish, just like the Gates of Hell!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
February 5th, 2024

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