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666 > Nekrofilie > Reviews > sunn_bleach
666 - Nekrofilie

Czech Black Metal/Jam Band - 69%

sunn_bleach, January 12th, 2022

Nekrofilie is the only demo by what would become Czech black metal group Törr - and it just might also be the first-ever Czech black metal release. Coming in at a respectably early 1983, Nekrofilie is solid evidence in how black metal was a phenomenon not necessarily tied to any specific region even in its earliest days. Just look at that artwork - if it isn't evidence of absolute maniaxxxe representation in 1983, then what is?

Czech black metal has a reputation for general weirdness, and perhaps one can link it back to this very release. Nekrofilie is anything but conventional, even in a time where "convention" wasn't laid out. Vlasta Henych's vocals are more projections and (dare I say it) ejaculations than they are yells, shrieks, screams, or singing. The vocal style used by Big Boss in Root or the sprechgesang style of early Master's Hammer can be traced here - a weird, hoarse form of muttering that occasionally goes into a deep baritone as on the beginning of "Válka s Nebem". There's an outsider sense of humor present that's all over vocals, presentation, and aesthetics: the first track translates to "Death of Three Six-Year-Old Orphans from a Fall Off a Russian Bicycle in Julius Fučík's Culture and Relaxation Park".... which is one hell of a statement.

Generally speaking, each track's composition is strongly inspired by thrash metal - an unsurprising influence given the date of release - with significant early 80s heavy metal vibes on "Samota v Smrt" and "Útok na úv ksč". Nothing here would be confused as highly proficient, but that's also not really the point; "Válka s Nebem" practically falls apart four or five times as the rhythm section can't quite decide whether to stay within the standard deviation of the tempo. The centerpiece is the whopping 17 minutes of "Nekrofilie", which is a black metal jam track if there ever was one. It also never feels its length, powerfully moving through what would be psychedelic garage rock grooves if they were recorded ten years prior. Nearly 40 years after release, it's still one of black metal's most unique tracks - and I do not use "unique" as a pejorative. Nekrofilie as a release is so completely dissimilar from the vast majority of black metal that's come after, which is resplendent in sounding both fresh and influential at the same time.

This demo is not for everyone. The roughness and sprawling compositions are going to put off many, many listeners - even those who may otherwise consider themselves fans of Czech black metal (and black metal demos in general). The band is held together by strings, glue, and alcohol on more than half the release. But it's so oddly charming (and so odd in general) that I cannot help but repeat that nothing else really sounds like this. It's black/thrash/heavy metal filtered through the eyes of a jam band falling down the stairs... and I am so glad that it exists.