Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Necrowretch - Putrid Death Sorcery

Putrid Death Sorcery
Century Media Records/E.M.I. Music Australia

For the better part of the last four years, French (Valence, Rhône-Alpes based) outfit Necrowretch have been making a name for themselves within the death metal underground with a collection of demo and official E.P. releases. Not surprisingly, as Necrowretch’s music started to reach a broader audience, a lot of people within the scene started to sit up and take notice of the band – including Jens Prüeter, the head of A&R at Century Media Records Europe, who was impressed with the band’s performance supporting Asphyx’s ‘Deathhammer’ album launch in March 2010.
Having officially signed on the Century Media Records in early 2012, Necrowretch (Who comprise of vocalist/guitarist Vlad, Sanctuaire bassist Amphycion and Sanctuaire/Aldaaron session drummer Mörkk) has finally completed work on their debut full-length effort ‘Putrid Death Sorcery’.
From the moment the album’s opening track ‘Ripping Souls Of Sinners’ is blasted out of the speakers, it’s immediately clear where Necrowretch’s influences originate from. There’s some obvious shades of early Death (1987’s ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ in particular) in the band’s overall sound, with touches of early Marduk, Merciless and Grotesque seeping through as well. Essentially this is old-school death metal, but with enough elements of black metal to mix things up a little. Performance wise, it’s hard to fault Necrowretch. The guitars have a technical edge that’s sharp enough to keep things interesting, while Vlad’s scathing vocals have plenty of venom to give the song some added aggression. In terms of the production, the sound is nice and sharp, but far more clinical sounding, which really allows Mörkk’s impressive drum work to stand out. Overall, it’s safe to say that Necrowretch have more than mastered the old-school death metal sound, and know how to write a good song.
Unfortunately, the formula adopted on the opening track wears a little thin during the course of the album. Despite some tracks that stand out, such as the savage title track ‘Putrid Death Sorcery’, ‘Spewed From Hell’, ‘Goat-Headed’, the dynamic ‘Necrollections’ (Which originally appeared on their ‘Necrollections’ demo in 2010) and the re-recorded fast paced closer ‘Repugnizer’ (From 2009’s ‘Rising From Purulence’ demo), the album does start to lose its impact and originality as it goes on. Ultimately, while Necrowretch can write some great songs, over the course of a full-length album, there’s just not enough variation to make them stand out amongst the pack.
Necrowretch are far from original, but they have enough talent to warrant a listen to. Sound wise, it would be great to see the band put a little more variation into their song writing to maintain the listener’s attention over the course of a whole album. But as it stands, ‘Putrid Death Sorcery’ is a solid enough release, if a little underwhelming at times.

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© Justin Donnelly

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