Necromantia
Scarlet Evil, Witching Black


3.5
great

Review

by ealordofthedepths USER (11 Reviews)
October 6th, 2008 | 25 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid slab of Greek black metal, however not really much else.

When it comes to things Greece is renowned for food, myths and porn often come to mind, along with a plethora of different images of small stone houses by the beach and donkeys riding up steep mountains. However there is one thing that the Hellenic people do very well and almost never get properly recognized for. Black metal. The Greek scene was truly a force to be reckoned with in the Nineties and Necromantia is a prime example of this. Their aggressive and raw style puts up against Scandinavia’s finest exports, and no record showcases this better than Scarlet Evil, Witching Black.

The disc kicks off with a little lullaby played on a sort of xylophone, only to be heavily interrupted by Devilskin, a furious rampage of blast beats over powerful riffs, often accompanied by ominous church organs. The production is, well black metal production, yet not as horrible as some, allowing for all the unorthodox instruments in the recording to be heard properly. Though the record isn’t really an innovating piece of art the band does allow their own touch to shine through occasionally, mainly in the more hard rock influenced riffs that can be heard in many of the album’s eight songs. But perhaps the band’s most distinguished trait is their lack of a rhythm guitar, all riffs are performed by two bass guitars, traditional six strings are used only for solos, most of which are pretty awesome may I add. However though Necromantia plays the black metal game mighty fine the traces of outside influences, such as Wagner samples in “Pretender To The Throne”, Saxophones in “Arcane Light Of Hecate” and flamenco guitar in “Spiritdance” are so perfectly pulled off that one wishes the band would experiment and incorporate these elements into their music more.

If the record is truly missing one thing its variety, sure in that sense its not as bad as say Darkthrone, but the similarity between songs hurts the album, making it a bit of a boring listen and seemingly a bit unoriginal. Few songs really stand out as different, the awe-inducing “Scarlet Witching Dreams” and the powerful epic “Spiritdance” being notable exceptions of this. These songs show Necromantia’s true potential, by using their arranging skills, which are insane by the way, and applying them to black metal they incredible songs that display a compositional maturity that far outshines the rest of the album.

The one thing that is truly different in Hellenic black metal from the Norwegian bands is that it strives for a different kind of atmosphere. Scarlet Evil, Witching Black is no exception; instead of the regular cold feel of black metal the album displays a warmer sound; meant in the best way possible. It doesn’t sound like you’re surrounded by snow in the middle of a lonely forest, instead the music evokes a more Satanic feel, something represented in its lyrics, almost as if you were right in the middle of some pig killing ritual that involves lots and lots of fire. In this sense the album draws more from the forefathers of black metal, Venom, Hellhammer, Sarcofago, and expands on the anger and hatred displayed in those classic records, ignoring the sadness and melancholy of Norwegian black metal.

In short Scarlet Evil, Witching Black is an excellent black metal record, recommended strongly for fans of the genre. However it is not magnificently innovating or original, and displays a band that is holding back a lot of potential for sake of being constricted to their genre.

Go download:

Devilskin
Scarlet Witching Dreams
Spiritdance



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ealordofthedepths
October 6th 2008


80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

its been a LONG time since I've written so have mercy. been wanting to review this for a while now

P13
October 6th 2008


1327 Comments


Album cover is hot.

Hawks
October 6th 2008


35824 Comments


Heard this a while ago. Pretty good, but nothing special.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

brandtweathers
October 6th 2008


2007 Comments


Album cover is hot.
oh metalheads and their fascination with the impossible woman


Essence
October 6th 2008


3585 Comments


Those are obviously fake.

P13
October 6th 2008


1327 Comments


too perky.

Wizard
October 6th 2008


19409 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really good review ealordofthedepths. I haven't really checked out the Greek black metal scene and I may start with this. Sounds like something I would like. Would this be a good place to start or are there better Greek black metal bands that should be listened to first?


Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

Hawks
October 6th 2008


35824 Comments


Listen to Rotting Christ first.

Wizard
October 6th 2008


19409 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not the biggest fan of them unfortunately. Any rec's for albums by them that are essential listens?

Hawks
October 6th 2008


35824 Comments


For me it would be Non Serviam and Genesis.

taylormemer
October 6th 2008


4917 Comments


This looks absolutely hilarious.

Wizard
October 6th 2008


19409 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sounds good to me. Need to hear some samples first.

Hawks
October 6th 2008


35824 Comments


Yeah check it out first because some people think that Non Serviam is boring as hell, but I love it.

ealordofthedepths
October 6th 2008


80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

other greek metal bands: Kawir, Rotting Christ (meh u dont like em), Astarte, Naer Mataron. However Necromantia is my personal greek favorite and I definetly recommend starting here

Hawks
October 6th 2008


35824 Comments


Completely forgot about Astarte. Their album Doomed Dark Years is amazing. You should check that out too wizard.

Wizard
October 6th 2008


19409 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The lack of community confidence in Non Serviam, that Hawks stated above, makes me a little uneasy about checking out Rotting Christ further hahaha. I will give this a go. Thanks for the other rec's.

Hawks
October 6th 2008


35824 Comments


Yeah a lot of people don't like Non Serviam. Oh well. Check out Doomed Dark Years by Astarte right away though. It has to be one of the most underrated black metal albums out there.

ealordofthedepths
October 6th 2008


80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if youre gonna check out rotting christ dont go for non serviam. triarchy of lost lovers is their best by far

botb
October 6th 2008


9681 Comments


a black metal band with a chocolate girl on the cover? this reeks of nonelitery.

ealordofthedepths
October 6th 2008


80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol tis actually the alternate cover, i was just too lazy to get the original cover, which involves a terrible drawing of a demon and a dragon so yah



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