Friday, January 6, 2012

Ritual Necromancy - Oath Of The Abyss

Ritual Necromancy
Oath Of The Abyss
Dark Descent Records

There’s isn’t a label around today that’s able to unearth the grimmest, soulless and crushing old school death metal like Colorado based label Dark Descent Records.
And if any proof were needed, then you only have to check out their latest signing in Ritual Necromancy, who have just unleashed their debut full-length effort ‘Oath Of The Abyss’ (The follow-up to their demo from a couple of years ago), all the way from the pits of hell.
Despite have only formed in 2009, the four members that make up the Portland, Oregon based outfit (Whose members include bassist/vocalist J.F., guitarists Adam ‘A.W.’ Wheeler AW and Lloyd ‘L.F.’ and drummer Kevin ‘K.S.’ Schreutelkamp) have all been involved within the local scene for a number of years – many of which have recorded albums in the past.
But it’s not the past we’re concerned with here, it’s ‘Oath Of The Abyss’. And what an album it is!
There’s plenty of old school death metal albums on the market these days, but there’s few that can rival Ritual Necromancy for creating a sound that’s so dense, suffocating and menacing, apart from Incantation, who the band are undoubtedly influenced by to some extent.
After the brief introductory piece ‘Accretion’ (Which is suitably eerie sounding with its spoken word incantation and slow building guitar effects), the band quickly launch into the first musical track ‘Cacophonic Dementia’ – which more than lives up its name. Between buzzing rapid fire guitar riffs, lightning paced drumming and smothering guttural growls, Ritual Necromancy certainly pack a hell of punch with their huge wall of death metal sound, which is primarily geared towards crushing the listener into submission throughout its entire duration.
The follow-up track ‘Descent’ doesn’t stray too far from the formula laid down by the previous track, apart from its tapering down of aggression towards the end, while passages with ‘The Chasm’ reveal a touch of doom/drone influence within the band’s song writing, without sounding a bit out of place.
Elsewhere, the quickened blast of the rather short ‘Penitence’ and the epic title track ‘Oath Of The Abyss’ (Which is perhaps one of the albums more straight forward and more thought out songs in terms of memorable riff structures) stand out as the stronger effects on the second half of the album.
‘Oath Of The Abyss’ is as old school death metal as you can get in terms of sound, atmosphere and attitude, and for that, it’s hard not to praise Ritual Necromancy for those points alone.
But if there is a negative, it would have to be the band’s song writing. Sure, there nothing terrible the band offer up with the eight songs on the album, but some of the songs on the album do have a tendency to brush past the listener with their bludgeoning, rather than hook the listener in.
Despite this, Ritual Necromancy is a worthy newcomer to the scene, and ‘Oath Of The Abyss’ does come recommended to those whole prefer the grim, depraved and dark.

For more information on Ritual Necromancy, check out -

© Justin Donnelly