posted on 2/2009 By:
One thing I can say about Greg Edwards: he’s getting better with each subsequent release.
Edwards, the sole force behind Necronoclast, has been arcing his shots for musically malicious glory higher and higher with every release, and while he hasn’t quite stepped on par to the likes of presumably huge influence Leviathan, Haven, the third Necronoclast effort in a year and a half, is certainly better than its predecessors. Edwards’ playing and programming have gotten better, but the songwriting and particularly the production has bolstered upwards by leaps and bounds from The Plague.
I recall The Plague in that Edwards’ feverish, unsettling guitar riffs could’ve been more chilling were it not for the blasé, blurred production that left all the pieces of the Necronoclast puzzle in a mire of mediocrity. Haven fixes most of its problems by supplying drums, noticeable with punch and pacing, and Edwards’ panned guitar tracks in cleaner portions really set the acrimonious mood. With buzzing cuts in one ear while a tremulous electric dirge squeals in the other, Haven trampled my heart on multiple occasions, leaving nary a wisp of air for me to suckle. Necronoclast may have killed some of my synapses in the process. Like I needed those.
Unfortunately, as can be the case in abstract, doom-laden black metal, moderation finds means to escape and is supplanted by meaningless repetition. I mean, we aren’t talking Xasthur levels of retreading ground by any stretch, but there are some cases where Edwards would’ve been wise to have left well enough alone. Oddly enough, the three-part “Slashed by Shards of Existence” is arguably the most blameworthy song of the bunch; still, it is my favorite song on the album. It’s passable (oh, fuck it, it’s really good) songwriting, but I’d like to see more variety next time out, knowing Edwards’ best material is his more progressive work.
I gotta make my way to Scotland to get a huff or two of whatever Highland fog Necronoclast has gotten its hands on.
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