Necro Weasel
A Brave New World

Gotta give credit where it’s due – Finland’s purveyors of thrashy ermine mayhem, Necro Weasel, really hit the nail on the head when it comes to their chosen moniker. If you caught my review of the band’s 2022 offering, Never Again, I made mention of many of the reasons Weasels are not to be fucked with, including their hyperactive metabolism that requires weasels to be on a near-constant murder spree. To that end, this is a band that has been pumping out no less than two releases a year since its inception in 2020, with ’22 and ’23 seeing the band release two full-length records each. This is a level of production that makes countrymate Tuomas Saukkonen (Wolfheart, Before the Dawn, Dawn of Solace, like 30 other things), renowned for his own prolific work ethic, seem sloth-like by comparison. Even the mere thought of releasing two albums a year is probably enough to make Jari Mäenpää’s head explode.

The risk of such short-term productivity is always that a band may be dipping into their pantry a bit too much, leaving themselves short on inspiration and creativity. The burnout can become very real, very quickly. But these murderous little minks seem to prove, time and time again, that their cache of killer riffs is still stocked to the gills. Seriously, immense props need to be given to Heikki Jalonen (otherwise known as THE Necro Weasel himself) for continuing to find really fun, inspired thrash riffs like they were roaches in a New York City apartment – always readily available and yet somehow no less demanding of your attention every time you encounter one.

Right off the bat, the opening title track treats us to a really upbeat guitar attack (featuring some absolutely righteous dive bombs in the intro that make me giddy with idiotic glee) that pretty much let you know exactly what to expect for the remainder of the album. There’s a real knack from this project for taking some very serious real-world issues, and somehow still making songs that sound almost joyous and cheerful – no doubt due largely to the band’s punky, crossover appeal. “All They Want is Us to Suffer” should not sound like a real fun time, never mind a track called “Out For Your Blood,” and yet both leave me feeling energized and lighter on my feet – hitting you face-first with pure adrenaline riffs and some downright nasty solos that remind you, one again, that despite the silly moniker and DIY aesthetic these are serious and highly capable musicians more than capable of melting faces at any moment.

Much like their tiny, furry namesakes however, Necro Weasel is still more than capable of surprising you with more serious, deadly intent. I won’t necessarily say this album showcases the band in a darker-than-usual light, but they sure as shit ain’t getting any softer, either. “Keep Breathing” and “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished” both feel much more seething, borrowing a little more from the schools of Slayer and Sodom than the more tongue-in-cheek D.R.I. or Iron Reagan as they put the problems of the modern world on blast, and “You Chose to Close Your Eyes” feels like a deliberate assault on the listener, making you stare directly into the face of injustice and human greed. I feel called out! “No Good Deed…” even breaks out the use of double-bass kick (not unheard of from the band, but rare) to further show they mean business, giving the track a much more straight-up metallic feel than we’re used to hearing from these guys.

Apologies to Necro Weasel for taking my sweet-ass time getting a review out for this, seeing as they went out of their way to ask if I’d do it. Life, as Necro Weasel themselves likely know very well given the content of their subject matter, often gets in the way of the things we’d rather be doing. That said, I both take solace in and bemoan the notion that there’s a good chance this one probably went without notice for a lot of folks at its release, so hopefully this helps give the band another boost of attention (like I’ve got that kind of pull…) because this band truly deserves it. Make no mistake, behind the DIY-aesthetics and misleading moniker still lies the beating heart of a really high-quality Thrash attack, backed by the kind of riff wizardry that for too long has flown under the radar. Refuse to take seriously at your own peril, because A Brave New World is yet another rock-solid addition in what is very quickly becoming a really impressive catalog, with teeth as sharp as ever at the ready to murder you just when you let your guard down.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
March 5th, 2024

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