Necrocracy
Decay

I’m not sure what made me check out the promo from Glasgow’s Necrocracy (the Exhumed album?). Bland cover, weird band name (I guess the band started out more death metal, which makes the name make a little more sense), unassuming album title, released last year digitally and re-released on CD earlier this summer by a Russian label I’ve never heard of.

But holy shit am I glad it did, as Decay adds to 2020s amazing black metal releases, and certainly the best black metal I’ve heard out of Scotland since…..hang on, let me get back to you on that…

Some of the band’s prior death metal hues remain as this certainly falls in the black/black category with deeper vocals mixed with the hawkish screeches and an earthier guitar tone. But the riffs are more of the melodic/atmospheric black metal ilk. The end result to these ears, come across like Goatwhore mixed with Hecate Enthroned, sans the bombast keyboards.

Despite lack of polish and rough and ready overall delivery, there’s a simple,  honest feral energy (Think Benediction’s Subconscious Terror),  that gives it some charm, and there are some brilliant melodic black metal riffs here; the first two tracks “Let Sorrow Prevail” (with a gruff initial canter that reeks of Goatwhore) and “The Enforcement of Joy”, lock into some steady. enjoyable black metal riffage that caught my ear.

However, it’s third track “Blackened Spiral”, that made me spit-take and go “whoa!”, with a stupendously uplifting, melodic riff about a that Vallendusk would be proud of. And as with the rest of the album, once they lock in they hammer it home, ( and end kinds suddenly) so don’t expect too much experimentation or meticulous tonal shifts and such, Deathspell Omega this is not.

The 9-minute “Loathe Thy Fate”, builds slowly, and has  Celtic Frost-ian marches with high shrieks (where Hecate Enthroned certainly come in as a reference), and then adds yet another simple, but wonderful melodic tremolo-picked riff to the proceedings. “Where the Sun is Silent”, is a more frosty, 90s second wave, traditional melodic black metal number, but they lock into the riff with a savage simplicity (drummer Aaron Campbell rarely breaks stride throughout the album). “Siel Vernietiger” is another melodic favorite of mine, and “Return to the Past” is another slow/fast, 9-minute number, before “Decay ends things with an spoken word/nstrumental number.

There’s no bells and whistles here, no synths, no cheesy atmospherics, no intros; just riffs. Sweet, simple, riffs and these guys are really honed in on that aspect of their sound. With a little polish and tightening up, they could be something special in the UK black metal scene.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 6th, 2020

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