Review Summary: An unadulterated modern take on old-school death metal.
Built upon a rigid death metal framework and boasting roots deeply ensconced within the foundations of an earlier form of the genre, Necrorgasm’s debut album Blissful Manslaughter
embodies all the greatest qualities of the death metal genre, delivered in an uncomplicated package. What Necrorgasm promise is pure impurity; there’s nothing complicated or unclear about the music they produce. What has been compiled here is a collection of solid death metal tracks that retain the disgusting and somewhat primitive aggression of their ancestors, coupled with modern production that yields a combination that ensures a clean and vibrant sound without adversely affecting the gritty nature of the musical assault itself.
Album opener ‘Harvesting My Flesh’ wastes no time with slow build-ups or gentle introductions, instead it unleashes a blistering combination of heavy riffs and insane drumming. Already it’s made clear what kind of objectives Necrorgasm have in mind here, and the listener is simultaneously vital and inconsequential in its ultimate realisation. The vocals are deep and visceral when they arrive, generally favouring a combination of forceful growls and occasionally implementing screams where they fit. The most immediately grabbing element of the music is the drumming; the often frenzied attack makes a spectacle of itself in the most glorious of ways, stealing the spotlight time and time again. The remaining half of the rhythm section is less impressive, not least as a result of how clandestine its presence is in the mix. The bass doesn’t make much of a mark for itself until the penultimate track ‘Infant Devourer’ on which, for whatever reason, it gets a revamp and appears not only stronger but also utilises specific sections in the song which have been designed to allow the bass to shine. Elsewhere, the guitarists command the vast majority of attention-grabbing material to be found on Blissful Manslaughter
, constantly developing interesting riffs that provide a suitably heavy environment for the rest of the instruments and vocals. ‘Faggot Killer’, for example, begins with an interesting guitar dominated section which progressively increases the pitch and compliments the drummer’s style perfectly.
The vocalist also manages some downright interesting performances throughout the album. Despite being near-unintelligible, possibly due to the English lyrics and the band’s Greek ethnicity, the vocal component remains a definite strength, with powerful, throaty growls permeating every song. Album highlight ‘Pieces of Her’ contains one of the best vocal performances of the album. The vocals are the clearest here and most of the lyrics are enunciated well enough to be understood, even if they’re the standard death metal shock-and-gore-infatuated fare. The same track also makes use of a short sample featuring the sound of a female running and screaming for help, complete with a suspense building section of heavy breathing and heart-beats until the subdued atmosphere is broken by the sound of a chainsaw struggling to life. This method works very well in achieving its goal of atmospheric building, even though the band are using a technique that a lot of their peers fail to garner results from. Partway through the track the bands strong songwriting comes into play and a guitar dominated section makes use of left-and-right speaker dynamics until the partial silence is shattered with a short, well-placed growl.
It is in the closing moments of the album that the band takes the opportunity to truly showcase the talents of their members. Possibly the best guitar work of the album exposes itself on closing track ‘Skinning Chambers’ while the renewed bass guitar presence of the preceding song continues here. Meanwhile, the vocalist and drummer maintain the unrelenting quality they have pumped out the entire time and at this point one fact becomes undeniably clear to the listener; this band undoubtedly know what they’re doing when it comes to creating effective, reminiscent death metal without compromising by injecting their sound with any other elements. Necrorgasm’s Blissful Manslaughter
is as honest an album as it appears and showcases just how well a modern take on old-school death metal can succeed in not only ripping apart a listeners ears, but also their expectations.