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"What now? A new French metal band you say. I suppose it is another avant-garde Deathspell Omega black metal band then? Wait, what! A French DEATH metal band, you say? Hang on? An OLD-SCHOOL death metal band, really? Are you perfectly sure? How many pints did you have?"
Necrowretch debut full-length takes us back, way back, to a time when thrash metal moved out of its mother's basement, went on a killing spree and became the sick twisted bastard we all know and love as death metal. Apart from a noticeably rather modern production everything about this album just oozes 80's death metal. The hell meets Lovecraft cover looks like a genuine combination of early Entombed and Carnage. The sick twisted vocals combines the primitive grunts of early Possessed with the low-pitched screams of mid-80's thrash, with the former being most present throughout the album. Almost pulverizing the listener the tempo is high from start to finish and does not give you a second to breath. The drumming is incredibly thrashy and it strongly reminds me of the aggressive almost-out-of-control style of Gene Hoglan's and Chris Reifert's early days. Bordering between aggressive thrash and primitive death metal the excellent riffage combines the ferocity of band like Slayer and Dark Angel with the technical explorations of early Possessed and Death. The horror-flick inspired guitar lines in particular serves the album well creating an eerie and dark atmosphere and could as well have been directly taken from 'Mental Funeral'.
Everything on this album is executed in utter perfection. Picking a favorite track from 'Putrid Death Sorcery' is nigh impossible. From the starting up-tempo beast 'Ripping Souls of Sinners' to closing track 'Repugnizer' this is nothing short of a veritable feast in what death metal is really all about. 'Repugnizer' strongly reminds me of 'From Beyond' closing track 'Corpsegrinder' of Massacre fame. Utilizing the grip of closing an album with a straightforward non-complex song is brilliant and makes me wanna spin 'Putrid Death Sorcery' all over again the very second the last note fades.
What truly set these Frenchmen (I still can't believe it either) apart from any other talented revivalist death metal horde though is that special feeling, an x-factor one might say, that captures the pioneering spirit of early Death, Possessed and Necrophagia without sounding like a worshiping band but a genuine product of that age. Had this been released in '87-'89 it would have been worshiped as a ground-breaking effort. Now, it is "only" the best retro-death metal album since 'Epitome Of Darkness'.
Originally written for www.metalcovenant.com