Ah! The tortuous sounds of one man black metal. Music so different it prefers a more shrouded and mysterious nature. But sometimes it comes out from the woodwork and deserves everyone’s undivided attention — except for scene kids, tools, and anyone that loves MTV.

One man black metal is a hard genre of music to get into: probably because the harsh recordings and lo-fi music, but for some this is a treat for their ears. Now I’m not the biggest fan of the genre but there are a few exceptions — most notably Leviathan’s excellent discography. There are a few other albums as well, ones that tickle my fancy, such as those by Nortt and now the new album from Scotland’s own blackened doom nut job Necronoclast. His fourth album on Moribund Records is a dreadful assault on one’s senses. Mixing black metal, doom, and a touch of death; giving off a fuller sound while still keeping things grim.

Atonal cavernous melodies rot away any clarity of actual music bringing forth a sense of consternation; “Ghostways” is quite possibly one of the grandest openers my ears have had the pleasure of hearing. A faint classical tone takes over midway through the song whilst adding haunting synth lines, which then evolve into an archaic dirge that slowly drifts into the next track. Then, things get fast as blackened riffs challenge one’s ears until a point of certain doom escalates on Ashes second track “Veil of Flies.” From there on out the music shifts to a dark foreboding atmosphere — instantly recalling a more funeral doom aesthetic.

“Kajicnicke Saty” opens with a march like rhythm that makes way into a more Daylight Dies approach adding a more doom/death foray of ideas but still keeping the sound black with an unpleasant feeling of utter dismay. Fast double bass blast beats of ridiculous speed eventually battle with thrashy riffs, before the rolling blackness ensues. Eventually things get even more desolate as “Serpents” enters the fold. Opting for a more black metal situation, this song brings forth insane tremolo riffs, dreadful noisy melodies and intense demonic screams. On “Looking Glass” one can hear Katatonia-inspired melodies and a shitload of maniacal layered vocals. Also the blasting parts on this tune definitely give off a Belphegor-ish tone. The title track “Ashes” keeps things relatively simple yet ups the ante in the doom department. This 8-minute monster is rough and heavy and if one listens close enough, they too will hear a bit of Marduk-influence that easily shines through greatly on this track. Then the last song off Ashes, “Ravenous,” is a wicked blast of death and black metal that sent chills running all through my body.

The production on this album is great and semi clean: still keeping that rough edge that black metal is known for. Everything is audible and doesn’t sound like your average run-of-the-mill bedroom black metal recording.

I thought this album was going to be a crap-fest but I was oh so wrong. What we have here is a strong musical output from a talented musician. So if bedroom black metal or just black metal in general is your thing then by all means pick this disc up.

If it’s not your thing, then still at least jam it once because I’m sure even the most jaded metalhead will fall in love with this album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jesse Wolf
May 11th, 2011


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    sounds good. I’ll look into it.

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