Al Necro

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Provocateur/Connoisseur of all things dark and grisly. Freelance author/published author addicted to metal of the highest order. Al Necro lives and writes in Richmond, Virginia.

Abandon hope, all ye who read Al Necro!

Articles by Al Necro

The Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia

Most bands never complete a discography of releases without hiccuping once. This is the hope for any fan of The Ruins of Beverast disappointed with ‘Blood Vaults’ and ‘Exuvia’. Is it likely that the band can bounce back from a release of sub-par quality? Of course, but with the downward trend in the band’s last four releases making its way to the lowest in the latest recording, fans can start checking out the band’s previous albums and await the band’s revival in future releases.

Acherontas – Amarta

The collaboration with famed Nightbringer founding member and black metal visionary Naas Alcameth has proven rewarding, and has perhaps boosted the band’s excitement with their latest album. Acherontas after all has never been considered mediocre. They’ve flown beneath the radar for the most part, but anyone considering them stellar might be ahead of themselves.

Crypt Rot – Embryonic Devils

Southern Lord is still a dependable label for fans who love bands that mix d-beat, punk, hardcore, even a little death metal and black metal. This time, the nice surprise comes in the form of their latest find, the band Crypt Rot and their debut full-length release, ‘Embryonic Devils’.

Necrowretch – Satanic Slavery

Necrowretch haven’t deviated from the style they started out doing, and for fans of Necrowretch, this is great news.

Venenum – Trance of Death

Venenum is special, not because someone says they sound familiar to an old overrated favorite, but because they do things veritably their way, and listening to this masterpiece tells the truth of the matter, and so should you listen and formulate an opinion independent of someone else’s.

Vampire – With Primeval Force

I am happy to express my approval of Vampire sticking with the style that got their demo sold-out in a short amount of time. It proves that if passion were to trump stubbornness and a band sticks to its guns even as their prior albums don’t make leaps and bounds, good things can happen.

Memoriam – For the Fallen

Musicianship matters when a band just plainly executes good songs and creates worthwhile music. Memoriam’s ‘For the Fallen’ has a touch of old-school death metal, modern death metal, and is quite emphatically just awesome.

Altar of Betelgeuze – Among the Ruins (Review + Exclusive Track Premiere)

Suitable for many backdrops of desolate, dank, derelict wastelands, Altar of Betelgeuze’s ‘Among the Ruins’ is prime doom metal for fans of genre-bending doom/death metal. I’m looking forward to hearing more material from the band.

Inferno – Gnosis Kardias (Of Transcension and Involution)

Inferno’s ‘Gnosis Kardias’ is not mainstream trend worship, nor is it crafted with contrivance and repetition. It is sacred art for lovers of the dark crafts.

Porta Daemonium – Serpent of Chaos

Porta Daemonium plays music with conviction, tenacity, and quality hard for most fans to appreciate simply because they don’t claim to be the biggest and baddest out there. Get ‘Serpent of Chaos’ on LP and experience armageddon.

Nidingr – The High Heat Licks Against Heaven

Not incendiary or polarising, ‘The High Heat Licks Against Heaven’ sufficiently entertains fans of modern black metal, and proves that Nidingr can rouse the drifters from sleep if only for the length of time the album blasts, shreds, and tremolo picks to levels beyond sameness and monotony.

Necroblood – The Collapse of the Human Race

Necroblood’s sound reveals a band at the height of its creative prowess. Song dynamics and catchy riffery both advance the material beyond mere competence. Fans of analog format will love the band’s issue in vinyl, and such format is highly recommended for fans of this type of underground death metal.

Fen – Winter

The band does not lack in genuine ideas on ‘Winter’, and fans of Fen will support this new album as fervently as they’ve supported milestone efforts such as ‘Epoch’.

Cemetery Winds – Unholy Ascensions

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Finnish black/death metal band Cemetery Winds and their album ‘Unholy Ascensions’, a band and a release in desperate need of some buzz.

Harvest Gulgaltha – Altars of Devotion

All must bow down to Harvest Gulgaltha’s ‘Altars of Devotion’, or suffer indignation by the scourge of wearing the nameplate, I am Trendwaste.

Pillorian – Obsidian Arc

Pillorian’s ‘Obsidian Arc’ is an enjoyable listen, and presents a band refreshing the melodic black metal style in 2017 to my pronounced enjoyment.

Ravencult – Force of Profanation

Let’s face it, ‘Morbid Blood’ won’t be topped easily, and ‘Force of Profanation’ may not follow it up with increased tenacity and quality, but ‘Force of Profanation’ proves Ravencult is here to stay.

Kosmokrator – First Step to Supremacy

Kosmokrator might not have entirely pioneered this style, but they provide fitting tribute and lasting legacy to the genre with ‘First Step to Supremacy’. File this under 2016’s most underrated.

Árstíðir Lífsins – Heljarkviða

I am fan first, journalist second, and Árstíðir Lífsins’ ‘Heljarkviða’ is the best black metal album I’ve heard from Iceland since Misþyrming’s ‘Söngvar elds og óreiðu’, and the best black metal album I’ve heard for years before that.

Cara Neir – Perpetual Despair is the Human Condition

Cara Neir’s ‘Perpetual Despair is the Human Condition’ packs a wallop, and sounds like genre-bending magic typical of label Broken Limbs Recordings.

Kjeld / Wederganger – Split

Kjeld and Wederganger feature instrumentation all positively enhanced by modern production values. Like a fresh smearing of blood on snow and ice, everything is conspicuous.

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