Necromaniac – Subterranean Death Rising (2018)

Necromaniac hail from London UK which has become a wasteland full of terrible rock/metal hybrids catering towards young childern, and what was once the center for NWOBHM is now the home of mentally deficient hipster/indie music that seeks nothing more than to go viral before being replaced by the next thing. Necromaniac have avoided the toxicity of such a scene in the pursuit of something much more noble. The lost art of making the best music possible. The production is strong, retains the grit and the individuality of the performances while making every instrument listenable without castrating a single thing. Due to this EP only containing two tracks, each track will be analysed separately.

“Subterranean Death Rising” is composed within the Proto-Extreme metal style in terms of aesthetics and note selection but has extended fully into the Death metal riff labyrinth reminiscent of early Morbid Angel. The initial motif firmly establishes itself before slightly modulating in the most natural of ways and changing its resolution before fading away and introducing another similar motif that then introduces a tremolo melody that then attaches itself to the initial motif to form the principle motif of this composition. The band then progress from that tremolo melody unto other avenues riding the momentum as far as possible before deconstructing the motif to its simplest essence before rebuilding all the momentum from the breakdown that takes the previous motifs and melodies and regurgitates them into a moodier passage full of tension before unleashing it all in a long pseudo-chorus that serves as a the climax and ultimate conclusion to a brilliant song

“Sealed For Eternity” develops even further into the notion of the extended pseudo-chorus while retaining the techniques and composition choices from the previous track. Though this time there is a much stronger emphasis on expressing the chord progression as clearly as possible through the Swedish style of long power chord sequences with syncopation at strategic moments to emphasize the central notes. The melody is in the harmonic minor scale and contains only one off-key note that occurs just before each individual mini-resolution. The potency of this segment derives from how the band decides to eschew the long uneasy resolutions that seems to have defined Necromaniac at this early point in their career. This composition succeeds in creating interest beyond the obvious points of interest as once again they excel in the breakdown as one melody then bursts into a two voice part section with each guitar band playing a voice before reuniting at the tremendous hook. The only weakness that this composition presents is the lack of exploration that some of these motifs merit as the composition urgently seeks to conclude without taking the time to construct what could have easily been a long epic in the Bathory style.

There is no denying that Necromaniac have created the best record of 2018 up till now through their ability to effortlessly take from such a large diversity of Underground metal and condense it into their own sound and style. Though nothing is new here, Necromaniac have found their own voice in a dead genre swamped with immitators and clowns. Their compositions, playing ability and production style are fully evolved for a band with such little material that the first full length should definitely be a truly worthy record but that would be aiming too low for Necromaniac. With an eye turned slightly towards the grandiose and the majestic, Necromaniac should be able to release a modern classic on the same heights as Sammath and Ectovoid.

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10 thoughts on “Necromaniac – Subterranean Death Rising (2018)”

  1. Could be melodic metal done well. It seems like a metal revival is brewing, since the *core styles have all shot their wad and are as dead as “blackgaze,” “depressive suicidal black metal,” and other mall store Abrahamism.

  2. Cynical says:

    Didn’t know these guys had a new one out! Their “Morbid Metal” demo from a few years back had tons of promise, glad to see they’ve kept going.

  3. Donkey Doctor says:

    Sounds like Mortuary Drape channeled through Slayer, not bad at all but my mind tends to wander a bit while listening. I think the songs could stand to be cut down a few minutes, pack it in a bit and have more impact.

    1. It sounded like Necronomicon to me. Basically death metal aesthetics grafted onto a 1980s Metallica fan band but in the European style.

  4. LordKrumb says:

    “There is no denying that Necromaniac have created the best record of 2018 up till now through their ability to effortlessly take from such a large diversity of Underground metal and condense it into their own sound and style. Though nothing is new here, Necromaniac have found their own voice in a dead genre swamped with immitators and clowns.”

    ^ Doesn’t that second sentence somewhat contradict the first?

    The music is arranged quite well, it’s quite fun to listen to and it would probably be very enjoyable to hear the band play these songs at a gig. But the musical ideas and resulting riffs aren’t especially engaging because they mostly sound too familiar.

    So, yeah, I agree that there’s nothing new to be heard on this EP, but I can’t hear anything in the music that shows Necromaniac “have their own style”, except that they’ve pieced together imitative riffs more competently than most other retro bands. This release won’t endure in the minds of metalheads for years/decades to come.

    1. 2018 has been a terrible year for metal in general with almost nothing of interest.
      This is a two song EP that has made their own sound from a very common set of tools at this point but they arrange it all to make something that is distinguishable and not overly reminiscent of one particular band or region. We will see what the full length will sound like but for now I haven’t heard anything better than this release in 2018. I can still hum the songs compared to most things that I have completely after reviewing them.
      If you have suggestions, do send!

      1. LordKrumb says:

        You’re right, this year has been generally terrible for metal – possibly the worst ever!?

        So I guess this EP could indeed be the highlight, relatively speaking, of a dismal year.

        Here’s a small handful of other potentially good 2018 releases that DMU have already reviewed; I haven’t spent much time with these albums yet, but found each one to be at least very interesting on first impression:

        Mørketida – “Panphage Mysticism”

        Espiritismo – “Al Responder de los Muertos”
        (says 2017 there but I’m fairly sure it was an early 2018 release)

        …also one Brett has just published his review of seems impressive:
        Nachtlieder – “Lynx”

        …plus maybe even that new Kever release Brett has also just reviewed? (hard to say as there’s only one preview track on Bandcamp at the moment).

        I think I read somewhere that the new Cóndor album is due to be released before the end of this year. Perhaps that will give us some hope, albeit the last album was disappointing, especially the vocal performance.

        A couple more suggestions for 2018 albums not yet reviewed by DMU (text copied & pasted from a comment I posted on a recent article here):

        Innumerable Forms – “Punishment In Flesh”
        The 2012 demo hinted at great potential (in my opinion, more so than Lance Viggiano gave them credit for –, but my initial impression of the debut album is that it’s a disappointing step backwards into the generic tropes of modern style-over-substance death metal habits. I wonder if one of the DMU reviewers can find any worthwhile qualities in it.

        Into Oblivion – “Paragon”
        This one is a lot to take in. My impression so far is that it’s a impressive step forwards from the occasional promise shown in previous releases, and even though it’s not stepping forward far enough to be a work of enduring greatness, it does offer significant moments of greatness within otherwise over-indulgent compositions (over-indulgence was also the main problem with their older material).

        1. thanks for the list, will check it out! Brilliant contribution once again LordKrumb

        2. Lance Vig. says:

          I bought frozen and the stuff released after but it’s been disappointing for the reasons you stated. Paragon does everything dmu wants music to do and is terrible.

        3. Belisario says:

          You are quite right about the lack of quality metal this year, I myself haven’t found much of interest apart from the Mørketida and Espiritismo releases you mentioned. Varathron’s effort was decent, but far from their best output, and all other releases that drew my attention are in smaller formats, demo (Trenchant), compilation (Siete Lagunas) and EP (Cromlech + Infamous). If the cyclical tri-annual tendency of quality metal continues (2007, 2010, 2013, 2016…), next year shall be more interesting.

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