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California's Necrot are part of a small but vibrant scene of old school-worshipping death metal bands sharing members with Acepahlix and Vastum amongst others. For their full-length debut Necrot has chosen the convenient approach of simply compiling their two demos and their EP in chronological order and give the entire thing a new mastering. Such an approach is of course risky often resulting in an incoherent creation. The Labyrinth though is surprisingly consistent and it is not that obvious the songs stem from three different recording sessions.
Necrot's take on death metal is a rather unique one. Dark Incantation riffs are the foundation clad in a classical Sunlight suit inspired by HM2 pedals and chainsaw guitars. Throughout influences from Autopsy, Grave and said Incantation are particularly dominant. These acts are all masters in covering their death metal in a dense dark atmosphere. On The Labyrinth only small traces of such an atmosphere can be detected.
It is difficult to tell why exactly but still serves as a testament to the fact that stacking a bunch of Incantation riffs is not enough to produce suffocating dark death metal. This is in contrast to vocalist/guitarist/bassist Luca Indrio's other act Vastum who are pure geniuses in slowly choking you to an early grave by the means of early 90's death metal.
The other problem with The Labyrinth is the lack of dynamics in the songwriting. Most songs have an opening riff that grabs my attention for a while but the song structures are very primitive and stagnate quite early on. Most songs simply do not go anywhere and does not contain any hooks, twists or other dynamics to keep the attention. It is really only the closing track 'The Abyss' that shows promising songwriting skills and enough variation to keep the interest going all the way through. Apart from that one tune I find it difficult to recall any song or particular riff once the album has stopped spinning.
Even though the sound is coherent, it is obvious that
the choice of compiling all of their songs onto a debut full-length
was a rather poor one. Simply because the songwriting skills on the
songs stemming from the two demos are not on par to measure up with
the rest of the horde of old school-worshippers. On the plus side Necrot
has a good fundamental sound going with an interesting combination of
primary influences and a nice production. Hopefully, the band can develop
this into a decent album as well if their songwriting skills keeps evolving.