Reviewed: October 2004
Released: 2004, Independent
Coming back with a more menacing vibe, Karl Nix’s National Cemetery Orchestra returns with its third effort, PRINCE OF ROSH (What does that mean? Anyone?). Whereas the previous two discs of this grim act were pure instrumental coldness, this disc seems to put more focus on the angry side of Nix’s musical personality. The creepily evil feel of previous work is still very much evident (see the melodic “The Black Hand”), but there is a more distinctly metallic and heavy feel to this disc. Just check out opener “Destroyer of Nations” with its vicious double bass stomp for proof.
The National Cemetery Orchestra is quickly developing its own personal niche for depressing instrumental music, while managing to experiment within its formula. This music has an eerie ability to evoke scenes in your mind as you listen to it, and it is a standout feature of Nix’s music. It could be a soundtrack to a George Romero zombie flick, or perhaps a more bizarrely twisted movie altogether, but the music will conjure up something in your head if you let it.
The only knock I have on PRINCE OF ROSH is that it is not the huge step forward that BEYOND THE SHADOWS was compared to the debut. Maybe that’s an unfair assessment on my part, but I was hoping for something more. That said, all National Cemetery Orchestra discs are worth having, and PRINCE OF ROSH is no different.
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