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Necromass - Abyss Calls Life
Review: The intense musicianship of this release often belies its basic simplicity, which forms the basis for the appeal of this vaguely romanticized metal that is, at its heart, all death metal; from the intricate network of rhythms that support the guitar to the soaring tones propelled by detailed textural strumming, the core of the deconstructive message of death metal is here: everything resonates together yet expresses disunity in a savage mirror of modern society. Postmodern theory justifies the fusion of heavy metal, jazz, classical and grindcore that is pulsing within this music.
Like many modern death bands Necromass have enhanced their act with female vocals and non-distorted acoustic or electronic instruments, and like most progressive style bands they have built extruded epics with all of the complexities of tempo and pattern required to express their vision. Probably not legitmately progressive as the composition is more conventional than most fully extreme progressive bands, this is highly refined metal displaying impressive command of instrument and songwriting.
Guitars are played precisely within an adaptation of rhythm, accomplishing the pummeling diatribe of their communication without being robotic, and the bassist rocks out with several compositional interludes of playing more impressive for composition than technicality. Drumming is precise but flexible as well, riding the rhythm of the band and integrating into the butterfly fast bass pulling harmony into the motion of the riff. Listening to a very competent band handle challenging music and apply a variety of very evolved metal musician techniques to create a unique environment with the hearer describes the experience presented by the work of Necromass on this album.
There is some of the dependence on longer structures made of scales, but powerful command of harmonic and melodic phrasing to accentuate elements of expression in each song. Over the musical foundation burning concrete vocals pound through the oblivion-bound blast, chanting the verses of the damned: poetic and deconstructive lyrics, somewhat of the indicated revelation nature but still profound despite some linguistic inconsistencies that will lead you readers on merry trails of double meanings. They fit the motion of the rhythm and tone unified in this music and that locks them into place.
Songs build around the drum rhythm, which is spotted by the bass, which eerily enough for this genre takes a primary role in changing mood within the tune by shifting harmonic identity. Beats are rock and fusion inspired with a good study of metal especially Greek black metal and European doom, and work within each song to move the riff to an unrefreshed conclusion from which it must state itself, eventually achieving redemption in the song as the beat moves through permutations of its peaks until the angst is spent in emotional discohesion. The tendency for offtime tempos as in fusion rock give this music a cycle and yet subliminally restrained feel, building a rhythmic tension in our heads but will deliver the candy when the band pauses for a bass interlude or acoustic interchange and then races through a sequence of blasting pseudochorus rants. Guitars are well played whether of the quasi-classical nature of the title track (not as complex as serious classical pieces but doggedly intense) or the rumbling and crooning death metal blasting parts.
It scratches the death metal itch - most of the time. Mediocre material and mellower tunes lapse into obscurity but in their subtletly bring out their understated and often quite profound, although simple, sympathies for the world inherent within this musical passion. It is beautiful at the same time, and although sometimes too cheesy to have any authentic emotion for most listeners, profound darkness that describes the suspended angst of a postmodern world. In the more sublime melodies there is a gothic presence, and in the dissonance of the work and its rhythmic finality a morbidity, a fascination with the great forces of the inexorable and the obliteration of all construction - order - or life.