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Nekromantheon - Rise, Vulcan Spectre Review

by Matt Hensch

Just when Uranus thought kids were the worst, his very own Cronus somehow obtained a sickle and severed his testicles in one foul swoop of indecency. Uranus should’ve covered his nuts, that’s the lesson humanity learned from this Greek myth of ball-busting proportions. With “Rise, Vulcan Spectre,” Nekromantheon instead abandons the sickle and removes all genitalia with COLOSSAL RIFFS that have the power to castrate the gods. Unlike “Divinity of Death,” the songwriting shows an edge of maturity and prose, and Nekromantheon here focuses on advanced compositional anthems which release eight nut-chomping tunes of volcanic fire and ravenous hunger. The raw energy maims like an orc frenzied by the wrath of Olympus; this isn’t a stale copy of old-school thrash, but a direct summoning of everything that thrash is and was supposed to be.

The thing I love about Nekromantheon is that their overall structure is very basic, but it kicks a lot of ass. These Norwegian warriors simply purge the rotting corpse of brutal old-school thrash and resurrect the remains into a perfect replication of unholy aggression; totally classic stuff in the vein of Morbid Saint, Sadus, Sepultura when Sepultura didn’t suck…you know the drill. The opening “Cast Down to the Void” wastes no time pounding your eardrums into dust with maniacal riffs soaring at sonic speeds glazed over the systematically brutal percussion and downright insane vocal shouts. The other seven cuts are pretty much the same, but Nekromantheon never fails to keep it attractive and listenable. It should be noted, however, that they seldom produce anything revolutionary or remotely original – a vice that “Divinity of Death” displayed but to a stronger degree – despite their total annihilation on the musical end. I mean, it may piss you off, but only if you hate COLOSSAL RIFFS and thrash metal in general, which would make you a twat.

I’m basically saying “Rise, Vulcan Spectre” never stops gnawing on the scrotum of Ares, which would explain why it’s so damn aggressive and violent. Energy flows through each and every number like blood, pumping around all eight tracks with the force of Poseidon’s anger crushing a tiny fishing boat of heathens. “Twelve Depths of Hades” features some really extravagant lead guitar parts that sway in and out of the song remarkably well; it’s quite the evolution compared to the quick jabs of metallic mayhem found throughout “Divinity of Death.” And speaking of the songwriting, Nekromantheon has morphed into a superior form through the application of better compositions and a higher focus on craftsmanship. Doing so opened a lot of doors for the group: riffs are milked perfectly, solos released on excellent intervals, drum patterns and fills flow like waves in an ocean…an ocean of razors, that is. And the rest of the album absolutely kills, from the excellent lead guitar sound to the bestial production rolling every trait of “Rise, Vulcan Spectre” in dirt and blood.

You know what really tickles my s***? In a world where bands like Evile and Machine Head have somehow wiggled to the top of thrash after the original legends slowly exited stage left, Nekromantheon never got a slot on the tours, never received the hype, and never were once given a chance to truly fracture the craniums of oblivious thrashers everywhere. It comes as a surprise to me every time I sit through the bombastic material this stellar band has produced, with “Rise, Vulcan Spectre” acting as an appropriate adaptation to temporal factors and the ongoing struggle between relevancy and mundane excrement. Definitely not something to miss if you enjoy thrashing like a fool or miss the true intensity of legendary thrash bands; Nekromantheon will certainly not disappoint.

Nekromantheon - Rise, Vulcan Spectre


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