Al Necro


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

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.

Death Fetishist – Clandestine Sacrament

Perhaps in large part to the astounding musical output the guys on Death Fetishist are responsible for, the band fails to make something really worth loving on this, their full-length album, ‘Clandestine Sacrament’.

The Ruins of Beverast – Takitum Tootem!

‘Takitum Tootem!’ either shows an exciting new direction for The Ruins of Beverast, or it aptly explores a theme with two songs before it presents black metal of a new innovative form on their next album.

Vircolac – The Cursed Travails of the Demeter

The members of Vircolac make music for its own sake, and a mainstream audience of Vircolac fans is still quite hard to imagine bearing fruit, but should black/death metal reach into the stratosphere with no turning back, expect Vircolac to be at the forefront of it all.

Auroch – Mute Books

While slightly melodic and less dissonant than ‘Taman Shud’, ‘Mute Books’ is a worthy edition to Auroch’s discography, even if ‘Taman Shud’ may perhaps remain their most compelling album to listen to.

Witchmaster / Voidhanger – Razing the Shrines of Optimism

Another record worth spinning, with very few people listening (or reading, for that matter), bop along before you make that much needed visit to Third Eye Temple’s webstore for a worthy split comprised of fun blackened thrash metal goodness.

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