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Masterful. - 92%

Noktorn, February 19th, 2009

There's a certain upper threshold as to how good a piece of black metal can be when it's just two guys playing in a basement, and this is right around there. It's completely amateurish and incredibly simplistic, but it's as brilliant as it possibly can be by virtue of just its riffs and the intensity of performance. There's a certain point when ultra-primitive music simply can't get any better because there's only so much going on, and this is a good example of its upper limit; I have trouble imagining how these songs could possibly be any better when considering the overall vibe of the music.

Nekrokrist SS plays a peculiar substyle of fast and aggressive suicidal black metal mastered by artists such as Nyktalgia. It's a breed that I have a soft spot for, and it generally goes underexplored in my opinion. This particular two-man project plays an extremely raw and primitive variety of this style, as though Hellhammer decided to listen to a ton of Sterbend. The production is extremely raw and basement quality, with throat-shredding screams ripping through the probably 4-track recording and clipping horrendously. The drums are omnipresent and driving and the bass is just barely audible while the guitars dominate the soundstream with a procession of brilliant tremolo riffs.

Like most bands with one or two members, there's little in the way of song structure; it's just a riff slideshow with little in the way of transitions apart from an abrupt snare fill here and there. The drums are always thrash beating or slowly lurching during the break sections, and they're played with just enough variation and human touch to really add to the quality of the music. The vocals are fucking ridiculous, unbelievably intense and searing and never descending into piteous moans; they're always 100% savage and ferociously suicidal. The vocal performance is one of the best parts of the release and shouldn't be missed.

The riffs completely carry this album. The're simple and elegant tremolo configurations of incredible aggression yet wrenching depression. They're beasts of such absolute simplicity and primitivity that they defy explanation, like the simplest moments of Nyktalgia but devoid of any of that band's professionalism and grace. The music of Nekrokrist SS is nasty, brackish, and unfailingly honest and straightforward. It has to be heard to be believed and can't be adequately put into words; suffice to say they're some of the best in the suicidal black metal style and are a mandatory listen for anyone who's involved in that scene.

The simplicity and primitivity of this album is what makes it all come together. It couldn't be any more complex or professional without losing the pure and raw essence that defines it. 'Suicide' is an immense album and Nekrokrist SS should probably break up because I seriously doubt they'll ever be able to do any better than this. This album, though, is a testament to just how great ultra-primitive black metal can be. Most certainly an amazing album for any fan of underground black metal.