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CD Review: NECRONOCLAST – The Plague

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necronoclast theplagueBlack metal lyrics generally fall into three categories: (1) Satan, Satan, Satan; (2) Odin, Odin, nature; and (3) kill yourself, but not before buying my album.  The promo of The Plague doesn't have printed lyrics; the marble-mouthed, croaking vocals don't help.  But Necronoclast's website has the magic word: "suicidal."  Door number three, unsurprisingly, leads to a one-man band.

"Greg," a Scottish fellow, conjures up the usual suspects – Burzum, Xasthur, Leviathan, Krohm.  However, he doesn't paint the usual smear.  The attention to detail is great.  "Degeneration" could have shot its blastbeat load and called it a day, but it slips in a creepy, clean-toned coda.  "Necronoclast" narrows to hovering feedback, then slams into the next track.  The purple-hearted jangles of "Vultures" suggest The Cure roasting on spits: Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me.

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But Necronoclast aims higher than mere wrist-slitting.  For starters, his drum machine is too robust (the dude can program a mean fill).  The percussion slices cleanly through the mix, a far cry from the usual pitter-patter of one-man bands.  Instead of lone misanthropes, the guitars evoke darkened skies.  The solo in "Degeneration" carves contrails of falling ordnance.  "Necronoclast" is martial, almost epic.  Shrouded pallbearers trudge wearily through "Faceless."  The cover image of circling vultures is apt.

The Plague inhabits a strange netherworld between Anaal Nathrakh and Xasthur.  Is its apocalypse external or internal?  As in war, a clarification of mission would help.

7/10

Necronoclast on MySpace
Moribund Records

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