Review Summary: Music for cavemen who have a refined taste.
Production is a daunting endeavor for a death metal release. The producer is tasked with making the vile and repugnant an admirable characteristic that is articulated yet shrouded in blistering distortion. It's the equivalent of telling a chef you want fish, but you don't want it to taste too fishy. That tightrope is everything. So, what are death metal fans looking for in a release? We are looking for balance. How much can we shake the cup without the drink spilling over? I guess that's the attraction to extreme metal. If you see it as noise, then chances are you just aren't listening closely enough.
I will try not to wax poetic, but being intentional with your music is how you get the most out of it. Death metal is a genre that places soundscapes paramount. It is undeniable that drop-tuning your guitar and throwing in distortion pedals makes it easier to create a catchy and filthy riff. But flaunting your musical technicality isn't exactly the name of the game here. A death metal band's primary goal is to set the scene. No genre, metal or otherwise, takes album artwork as seriously as those in the death metal camp. Want to know what this album sounds like? It sounds like whatever f****d up dark souls dungeon crawler that album cover is supposed to be. The first track off Blood Offerings is the Blade, and it cuts through you like an obsidian knife in a ritualistic sacrifice. The riff is infectious, and that high-hat ride will have you hit the replay button at least three times before the track ends. The production quality is exemplified beautifully here, and it's honestly one the most enjoyable audio experiences I have experienced in the genre. There is ample separation between the instruments to provide superb imaging while maintaining that sense of a bound coil on the precipice of explosion.
The title track is a less restrained affair. Palmed, chugging riffs are followed by thick double bass kicks and a hoarse bark from the vocalist that encourages the pit to engulf the poor souls who are content with being inquisitive voyeurs. At the track's midpoint, we reach a bridge that reintroduces a much-needed reprieve from the assault on our eardrums. This riff is the best on the record, and if you took the time to listen to the first track, you know that is saying a lot. This is music that will furrow your brow and elongate your underbite. Even so, it isn't crude. The playing and production are clinically methodical. The bridges from visceral speed to knuckle-dragging doom are wonderfully articulated. The closer, Layers of Darkness, sums things up perfectly. In this track, Necrot exemplifies speed, plodding grooves, and melodic leadwork while maintaining a coherent and persistent atmosphere. In short, Blood Offerings is an exemplary release from one of the most promising acts in the new wave of old-school death metal.