Nekrovault
Totenzug: Festering Peregrination

Well, this sure as shit came out of nowhere.  Nekrovault is a new death metal band to the scene and has only released a pair of eps since their 2017 inception.  Nekrovault are a four-piece German death metal band and Totenzug: Festering Peregrination is their debut album and my dark lord it may very well well have been the heaviest album of 2020.  7 songs in 43 minutes so you know they like to write some longer songs than other death metal acts.

“Totenzug – Funereal Hillscapes” a 6+ minute opener of a song begins with some atmospheric build-up that has me thinking of digging graves and a funeral procession.  It’s a very bleak intro until about 90 seconds in.  With a scorching eerie guitar riff, which has some black metal influence, and the deep vocals come in as the plodding heaviness erupts.  Drums are slow and this opening will have you thinking of doom/death metal, with its plodding and down-tuned heaviness.  Some nice guitar melodies before the song picks up the pace and the vocals are so damn deep, yet understandable and the guitars are ferociously heavy.  The guitars have an Asphyx influence to them and even some classic Bolt Thrower.  Some of the higher register raspy vocals work quite well and the speed of the song is classic 90’s death metal, but never getting into the blast beat territory.  After the song speeds up it gets back into a rumbling mid-paced heaviness.  Think Bolt Thrower gone doom/death – that is how damn heavy this song is.

“Sepulkrator” is up next and is 8 minutes with a massive opening guitar riff and the thunderous drums are seizure inducing.  The song plods and gets moving with some monolithically heavy riffing-this is some dense and heavy shit.  The monstrous vocals going perfectly to the dark theme of the album. The rhythm section at the 2.30 part is excellent so you can really feel that heaviness with a bottom end creating an undercurrent of heaviness most death metal bands wish they knew how to do.  The pained and anguished raspy vocals working quite excellently and around a minute later a little start n stop heavy riffing, before an old school faster beat comes in and then back into the plodding heaviness.  The 4.30 isolated guitar riff is killer as the higher growl comes in and then into a faster beat, as the song gets into a monster fast part the singer lets out a vintage Tom Warrior Celtic Frost like grunt circa 1984, as the speed continues.  This section is amazing and evil.

“Eremitorium” at 9 minutes ends the album with some blazing screeching guitars, some faster parts and then right back into the slower plodding heaviness.  Faster sections come in and then the Ulcerate-like swirling dissonant riffing rears its head and is complete madness.  The 3-minute atmospheric guitar parts, gets into a bit of epic heavy metal with the guitar soloing and brings a huge smile to my face.  Yes, we have seen some killer death metal German acts over the years incorporate some classic metal moments which are awesome – bands like Chapel of Disease really know how to incorporate that classic metal into their sound and so do Nekrovault.

The other songs are excellent, although “Serpentrance” is a 2-minute ambient style track, but it does fit with the overall flow of this album.  The production is very well done and captures the heaviness and the guitar density quite well so it does not come across as a wall of noise.  The album cover of Totenzug: Festering Peregrination is pure creepiness as the purple cover combined with the souls walking towards some temple conjures up an evilness that works incredibly well with Nekrovault’s pounding doom/death heaviness.  The band mixes in enough tempo changes to really keep the listener engaged.  This album came out of nowhere, knocked me on my ass and was one of the very best for 2020.  Like their FB page and support this great new act.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
February 2nd, 2021

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