Published on Sunday, 09 June 2013 18:12
Album title: Necrogod
Release date: 28 June 2013
Label: Code666 Records
01. Syrian Desert (intro)
02. The Temple Of Baal-Seth
05. Ishtar (Al-‘Uzza)
06. Anubis (The Incense Of Twilight)
07. Kali Ma (The Mother Of The Black Face)
08. Leviathan (Seas Of Fate)
09. Voodoo (Daughter Of Idols)
10. Winds Of Horus (instrumental)
It took me quite a lot of listens to get into this fourth full lenght album from Italian occultists Ecnephias. Not because it's too much complicated or complex, contrary, the album is flowing nicely, somehow the mixture of growling, death metal kind of vocals and melodic, dark metal music didn't worked out for me. The beauty of this music was heard, all the components of spectacular album were served and only after a while I started to appreciate this album.
Those who are familiar with their previous works will notice that the band left behind almost completely the black metal sound, instead they went further with enriching their sound with more typical heavy metal based elements. Another thing that is different is that the band doesn't use anymore any Italian language in lyrics. Nine tracks and intro deal with thematics taken from pre-Christian cults of the southern hemisphere of the Earth. Listener can be easily overtaken by kind of mediteranean scent and some folkish insertions.
Melody is the basic line on Necrogod, guitars are marvelous, there are a lot of great fantastic leads and captivating melodies, occasionally almost hard rock song structures and strong drumming, everything deepened with pounding bass lines. The atmosphere is reached with splendid keys and piano touches that add one hell of a special dark curtain. Sometimes the sound has trail-blazing gothic metal vibe, but the band doesn't forget its extremistic side from the past. Just listen to fantastic "Kukulkan" and its rather melancholic vibe, yet with great refrain and of course, after a while there comes "Ishtar (Al-‘Uzza)" and the initial feeling is like that Moonspell are performing one of their lost tracks. Vocals are great here. I like very much Mancans deep clean vocals, even if it reminds a lot to Fernando from before mentioned Portuguese band.
The highlight must be "Voodoo (Daughter Of Idols)", featuring a guest vocalist, nobody else than Sakis from mighty Greek band Rotting Christ. The vocal duet between Sakis and Mancan works out great and you can't get past tribalistic vibe on this track, yet very powerful and melodic lines reminded me a lot to Rotting Christ's A Dead Poem/Sleep Of The Angels era. Great, nothing else can be said. The interplay between melodic guitar lines and atmospheric keys is fantastic. Even some thrasy elements are added very skillfully and double bass drums are more than welcome here.
Ecnephias finish Necrogod with instrumental track "Winds Of Horus" that has kind of eastern vibe inserted very visely into this quite technical pure heavy metal composition. So, Necrogod is after all great record. I still have my opinion about the harsh vocals, but that's the matter of taste, still one thing is irrefutable that it adds a lot of heaviness into the musical output. Oh, yes great production can't be ignored, it has depth and clearness, the mastering was done by Dan Swano at his Unisound Studio. Fine album artwork is also one of things that took my attention.
A huge step forward for the band and an album that can bring a lot of new fans to them. Ecnephias were able to capture the true heavy metal spirit, gothic atmospheres, extreme metal parts, folk elements and make one hell of dark metal album. Not all the tracks can reach the greatness of before mentioned and some work out a little bit annoying, but still... Necrogod is very recommendable to all those who like before mentioned genres. Good job!
Review written by: T.V.