Release DetailsLABEL Moribund Records
RELEASED ON 11/20/2007
posted on 3/2008 By:
As spring draws near, I’m reaching back into the MetalReview bag o’ tricks to grab onto some cold, frosty Scottish black metal to indulge in as the season that best suits it falls quickly into the distance. Now I could be really out of the loop, but one-man Scottish black metal in general is something I’m not wholly (read: at all) familiar with. To my ear, Necronoclast doesn’t sound too far removed from quite a few North American black metal bands; dry, brooding, not too incredibly fast as a habit, but always moving in some momentous way nonetheless. It can be interesting at times, but nothing here will surprise anyone.
The only thing I know about the man who performs in Necronoclast personally is that he goes by G., and some places have referred to him as Greg. Whoever he is, he wears his influences strongly on his sleeve, and much Xasthur, Leviathan and Burzum influence is present here, although some of it also reminds me of early Averse Sefira. It’s all well and good I suppose, as if the scene needed another project like this, but I do have to say the music is competently performed, and the vocals are especially effective when they shift into a more throaty, apocalyptic midrange roar. Things are restrained speed-wise through much of this effort, at times capturing a cavernous atmosphere respectably, relying more on repetition and mood rather than scathing high speed or crazy tremolo picking.
As far as production goes, The Plague isn’t too bad except for the incredibly annoying snare sound when he does pick up the pace to something faster. “Necronoclast” suffers at times due to the wind up drum tone, but stands out among the rest of the tracks due to an adventurous arrangement that shifts the tempo and riffs just enough to make it stand out despite the odd percussion. Other than that, the mix is very solid, and the guitars pack a good punch through the many power chord laden slower parts. There’s a weird sound effect during “Enter The Opacity” that sounds like someone buzzing a front doorbell, there’s a bitchin’ solo locked into opener “Degeneration”, and another curious moment is how “Across The Void Of Silence” has a bit of an Agalloch feel to it at first which really stuck with me for a while, and once again made me pause at how much North American influence I heard here.
Not bad. Not bad at all. Even though this style of black metal is still far beneath the radar of many metalheads, Necronoclast is certainly enjoyable and holds attention fairly well. The Plague is energetic without being overly vehement, tosses around a few captivating riffs and arrangements, but still probably won’t make too many waves in the scene overall. Not too necro’ or primitive, and not too polished into sterility or safe, The Plague will probably neither thrill, bore, nor intimidate you, but it should be fairly entertaining at least.
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