4 years ago I reviewed the debut album, Decay from Glasgow’s Necrocracy and it was a rough and ready, solid release of no-frills, burly black metal. And then out of the blue, the band emails me and tells me about their new digital and cassette-only release they are dropping.

So apparently the material on Predestiny is two years old, but the band was without a suitable vocalist for a while. Enter new vocalist Chris Welsh who provides a gruff bark/roar/rasp to Necrocracy’s sound which is a little gruffer, rougher, and a little less uplifting and melodic than the debut (there’s less “Blackend Spiral” or “Siel Vernietiger”- ish riffs here), so it’s a match made in heaven.

But little else has changed in Necrocracy’s sound. It’s about riffs. No keyboards, no atmospherics, no rangy intros or outros. Just riffs. Now I will admit, Predestiny isn’t gripping me quite as hard or as quickly as Decay did, as the opening title track is 5 and a half minutes of fairly uninspired, repetitive riffing. However, things start to pick up for the second half of the second track “Curse the Zealous” and the third track “Upon Blast Ground” which adds a nice steady melodic canter to the repertoire, and I get a little bit of an Arghoslent vibe to the tone and pace. “That Dreary Hour” changes up the pace for a mid-paced plod, and while it breaks up the pace a little, its back end speeds things back up considerably.

Now, the last 3 tracks are where the album really shines.  First, there is “War Of Each Against All” with a fucking killer, rousing main riff that does remind me why I dug the band’s debut 4 years ago, pity it is super short. Then “Vinus Tortus Et Ira” (Twisted Wine and Wrath?) delivers more urgent, snarling riffs and vocals but with more of the melody that the first half of the album is sort of missing.

“Esoteric Reprobation” ends the album with a slower, moodier number that even has some short-lived female vocals, a really new element for these guys, but it shows some nice development, that I wish they could meld a little more with some of the more purely melodic/atmospheric black metal stylings of the debut and be a virtually perfect modern black metal band.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 19th, 2024


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