Forgive me if you will, for as much as I like to use band comparisons for the ease and convenience of conveyance, I don’t want to be that guy who constantly mentions one band while reviewing another…but I’m gonna be that guy who constantly mentions one band while reviewing another. Though in the case of Neocaesar all is forgiven, for conversation about their debut full-length, 11:11, simply cannot exist without the acknowledgement of the mighty Sinister. Sinister‘s signature sound (say that 10 times real fast, I dare you…) isn’t as instantly/immediately recognizable as it once was and Neocaesar not only know this, but are here to embrace, most successfully, that recognizable sound of yesteryear. And rightfully so, as Neocaesar is essentially a reunion of once upon a time players from the classic Sinister of yore, with vocalist, Mike van Mastrigt (Cross the Styx, Diabolical Summoning, Hate, Bastard Saints), guitarist, Bart van Wallenberg (Diabolical Summoning, Hate, Bastard Saints, Agressive Measures, Creative Killings), bassist, Michel Alderliefsten (Bastard Saints), and drummer Eric de Windt (vocals on Agressive Measures). And honestly, I’ll be damned if 11:11 doesn’t ring of Sinister, circa 1995.

To be quite honest, that is damn near everything you really need to know in regards to whether or not you, as a listener, will enjoy 11:11. If you, like me, are a Sinister fan, and you hold those first four full-lengths in pretty high regard, then you shouldn’t even think twice about picking up a copy of 11:11. While Neocaesar is its own band and is forging its own path, one cannot deny the unmistakable tone and spirit, or Sinister-isms, if you will, that permeate whithin every track of 11:11. Whether it be “From Hell”, and its old school vibe that would fit perfectly between Hate and Agressive Measures, the fat catchy riffs of upbeat blaster “Invocation of the Watcher “ , or the mid-paced punisher of album closer “Blood of the Nephilim”, this behemoth of the Netherlands stomps with every bit of aplomb and fortitude of the many times over, aforementioned band that a couple of these guys originally sprang from.

Without a doubt, picking an album highlight is quite the task as no specific tracks really outshine the others in any particular way. A good thing, as there are no real stinkers to be found, but a bad thing as well, as there are no real monumental moments to be found either. Though personally, I did enjoy “Victims of Deception”, with its prominent bass, slick groove, intelligent change-ups, and its flares of etherealism that pop up towards the last 1/3 of the track and “Angelic Carnage” and its fattened, angular death goove, a tad more than the other songs. I  especially dug the latter track’s faux ending, which lead back into some great syncopation and tasty bits of slight melodicism.

Originally self-released by the band a year ago, Spain’s Xtreem Music has since picked up the album and given it a proper label release, much to the delight of many a metalhead. Chock full of groove, rhythmic flow, and melodic licks that’ll make one damn near yearn for death metal’s golden years, the actual plausibility of you being a fan of Neocaesar is obviously, quite simple. Are/were you a fan of Sinister, especially of those first three, and I dare say four, full-lengths? If not, then may I say “thanks” for hanging in past the first paragraph, though if the answer is a resounding yes, then you are in for a nice little treat as Neocaesar and 11:11‘s aural delights sit firmly, and proudly in that classic era of …well, you know who…

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
April 4th, 2018


  1. Commented by: Nick K

    Awesome review and Band… Great work Kris!

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