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Certain band’s career commands respect, even from the most demanding connoisseurs. In just four albums, German quartet Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult has risen among international black metal elite through its stylistic intransigence and seriousness of its convictions. More than three years after the release of Saldorian Spell (and a remarked first show in Montréal), the band returns with Necrovision, still distributed by War Anthem Records.
Some cover details intrigued me, even before a first listen. The fir-shaped logo is not displayed; band name being clearly written instead. In addition, image gracing the cover is definitely symbolic, whereas previous albums used highly detailed reproductions. Such changes may have seem insignificant to any other group, but not for Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult. This announces certainly something! However, mystery does not last long: the answer is thrust forward immediately after the atmospheric introductory song Aura.
This is the first black metal album to give me such a strong impression since Tsjuder’s Desert Northern Hell, with which it also shares many characteristics. So much power, anger and resentment are emerging from this record that it leaved me speechless: Necrovision is a pure black metal manifest.
Few flaws that I could blame form the previous albums have been eliminated. So instead of opting for a dry production, band develops a rich, organic and extremely heavy sound, thus emphasizing rhythm instruments, especially drums, which is omnipresent, with a diverse and high quality playing, with frequent drumrolls.
But the most remarkable improvement achieved by the group comes from its song writing work. While their previous albums were unequivocally part of chilly and linear true black metal register, Necrovision’s songs are far more catchier, with very good and thrashy riffs, particularly on Primordial Sapphirine Driplets and The Eviscerator. The band even does some fantasies, such as integrating old songs samples and clean guitar passages on Necrocosmic Vision. I finally admit loving the raspy and extremely aggressive Onielar’s voice, a rare front woman in the hyper masculine black metal universe.
It is obviously too early in the year to crown an album, but Necrovision just made a big entry in my personal ranking. Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult members have made an exceptional overall quality record, and I highly recommend it to anyone who claims to enjoy black metal.
Originally written for Métal Obscur.