Released: 2003, Skyscraper
I’m a little tardy reviewing this disc. My apologies to the band and label. This CD came out about a year ago and deserves some recognition. This is Necronomicon’s most ambitious and mature effort to date. I hate using the word ‘mature’ to describe the crushing metal on this disc but there is not a better word. The band progression in all facets, songwriting, composition, deliver have all improved. Yes, perhaps the evolution will deter some purists but as a longtime fan o fth eband I feel it is their best and most accessible work to date.
Don’t get me wrong…it is still crushingly heavy in most parts, but the band have added enough elements to really diversify their sound. I listen to the instrumental, dreamy track ‘The Pillar of Balance’ which is followed up by heading caving thrash of ‘Quetzalcoalt’. Nice juxtaposition of sound, tone and tempo. This then bleeds into ‘Quest for Vision’ with pummeling double bass and big, echoing, ambient female vocals. Necronomicon have been around the block but still have fairly uninspired and pedestrian packaging and design. Considering the cool subject matter they could have done more.
The subject matter itself is worth mentioning. The band have done what almost no other band in metal has done and that is explore musically and lyrically concepts about Aboriginal peoples. Now this is where I get confused. They seem to dabble in both native North and South American mythology, and it seems at times confusing the two.
Lyrically the concepts are quite vague and left open to interpretation, which is a bit of a shame because being one of the first to tackle these arena they could have done something like the band Nile with a very in depth and realistic lyrical approach to native culture. They even do a ‘cover’ of sorts of what seems to be a traditional Native piece called ‘Calling The Spirits’. I am not familiar with the original but what a great idea that adds to the authenticity of the sound of the album.
There are eleven tracks and four instrumentals, which keeps the tone and tempo at a slightly less than neck-breaking pace for the entire time. The production is very decent and accents nicely the drumming. Rob’s voice is guttural but not indecipherable and I might have liked the guitar a little higher in the mix. It seems to sit in the back a little bit.
Overall, this is another great step in this Canadian bands career now almost ten years long and not to be confused with the other half-dozen bands with the same name. Visit http://www.necronomicon.ca