Published Aug 28, 2020Necrot burst onto the scene like an artillery shell with the release of their acclaimed 2017 debut, Blood Offerings. While other bannermen of the old school were excavating forgotten relics of death or fermenting stagnant death/doom, Necrot took a no-nonsense approach that immediately resonated with tape trading, gore-encrusted heshers. Now, the Oakland trio, featuring members of Vastum and Mortuous, return with their anticipated sophomore album, Mortal.
This album bears some of the same traits of a good jazz recording. The tone of the guitars is warm and well-rounded, the rhythm section is very "in the pocket," and the subtle syncopation in the accented notes gives it a laid-back feel even when it's firing on all cylinders — which it is most of the time. "Your Hell" kicks things off with ripping guitars spewing out a surgically sinister melody, its abstract evil alluding to the European sensibilities informing Mortal. The seductively strange melodies of this album are its lifeblood, leading to its most memorable moments like the Swedeath-infused "Asleep Forever." There's also plenty of Bolt Thrower influence in the pummelling "Stench of Decay" and "Sinister Will."
There's some sounds from American death metal as well, particularly in "Dying Life" and "Malevolent Intentions," with riffs reminiscent of The Bleeding-era Cannibal Corpse. The best product of American influence on this album, however, is in the solo sections, which are similar to Death in their attention to composition and harmony.
If Necrot had dug a little deeper into their American repertoire, they might have come up with the missing piece of this album: rhythmic variation. While this album has a great sense of melody, it lacks any rhythmic stabs to make songs stand out. As a result, many songs are stuck on full-throttle and, by the end, the album feels formulaic.
On Mortal, Necrot continue to hone their old-school edge, carving out a reeking slab of death crawling with parasitic melodies. While it may not blow your mind, it's enough to bang your head to. (Tankcrimes)