Reviewed: March, 2021
Released: 2021, El Puerto Records
Remember back in 2010 when Iron Maiden named their album THE FINAL CHAPTER and people got worried it was the last Maiden album? Do we have a similar situation here? While that is not my preferred scenario I would understand if Germany’s Necronomicon, now 10 albums and 35 years deep into their career called it quits.
The band churned out three really decent albums in quick succession in the 80’s, then took a break and only managed one album in the 90’s, the rare and valuable SCREAMS in 1994. What followed next was a decade of inactivity and then in 2004 they reformed, again, and have written another six chapters in a row in their book.
THE FINAL CHAPTER is as good, as fast, as dark, and as heavy as anything they have ever done. The band is still on El Peurto Records and they have expanded from a trio to a quartet. Founder, vocalist, and guitarist Freddy has added a couple of new guys, perhaps most notably Rik Charron formerly of Canada’s Exciter. He also brought his old buddy from Mind Assassin on bass, Glen Reed. People talk about many long-standing people in the Metal community, guys who single-handed keep their bands alive for decades; Rolf Kasperak and Chris Boltendahl for example, and it would be nice to hear the name of Freddy spoken in the same breath.
The album is compact, a dozen songs for about 45 minutes, nothing very long. The band is still playing within the boundaries of their signature style of thrash, shorter songs after a slight, but well-received deviation is style a couple of albums back on PATHFINDER.
Necronomicon has always shifted easily between genres the heaviest of classical Metal, bursts of speed, lots of thrash, but old-school thrash, when bands would have a few slow parts or acoustic parts scattered in the songs. The band does this, for example on the longer intro of ‘Stormreaper’ giving our eyes a bit of sonic diversity. Freddy barks out the usual thrash topics of evil darkness, nightmares, justice, fire, pain and more; nothing particularly unique but well delivered and on-point. The album rages by inducing whiplash head-banging and other well-worn clichés.
If this is the last album, (I don’t think it is and I hope it is not) Necronomicon went out on high note. If it is not it is just another excellent chapter in a long book.
1. I Am the Violence
2. The Final Chapter
3. Wall of Pain
5. Burning the Fury
6. Spilling Blood
7. Selling Nightmares
8. World on Fire
9. The Devil’s Tears
10. The Unnamed
11. Me Against You
Glen Shannon- Guitar