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Necrocracy > Decay > 2020, CD, Dark East Productions (Limited edition) > Reviews > Edmund Sackbauer
Necrocracy - Decay

Necrocracy - Decay - 89%

Edmund Sackbauer, July 22nd, 2020
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Dark East Productions (Limited edition)

Necrocracy are a black metal band hailing from Glasgow/Scotland. Having been formed in 2012 they have released a bunch of demos, a split and a live album. Not being familiar with any of their previous stuff I checked out their first demo and based on a quick impression it seems to me that the band has started off more as a black/death metal outfit. Their full length debut “Decay” which has been released by Russian label Dark East productions is something I would put into the more traditional black metal basket. As this kind of sub-genre definitions do anyway not tell anything about the quality of the record we should fly straight into talking about the music.

On the surface this is quite nicely done classic black metal, sometimes subtly on the atmospheric and slightly experimental/ambient side. The goal of this record is to blend contrasting elements, melancholy and aggression, pain and pleasure. A lot of bands throw these kinds of statements out and it often comes across like a pale attempt at making sense of a whole lot of noise. The songs on this record use a black metal base to craft emotive music, weaving esoteric moods and blackened tapestries to create a fascinating musical adventure.

The drums are one of the driving forces of Necrocracy, with plenty of running kicks, ride tings, cymbal splashes, fills, and pattern changes fueling the energy of the guitars. That being said the main star might be the cool guitar work, that is responsible for some highly enjoyable moments. Take as an example the first track “Let Sorrow Prevail”, which is littered with plenty of great guitar parts, from stoic main themes to touches giving way to building, tapping leads to the breakout riff.

The rest of the album follows suit, constantly shifting and changing, with actual, proper riffs finding their way to the surface amongst the assault, coupled with tasteful leads that add a sense of traditional second wave melodies to the whole affair. What I really like about this band is their ability to craft special moments, by finding the right tones while construction their main themes and harmonies. The lead guitar work is outstanding in places, creating various moods over the course of the record. These harmonies sometimes seem to have a slightly fragile character, which is kind of contrary to the battering drums and bleakness which is haunting this album. Pictures of cursed and long forgotten monasteries and the howling of the lost souls wandering the hallways have appeared before my inner eye while listening. The desperate vocals further underline this impression.

The production is somehow raw yet clear and powerful at the same time. Not too modern and sterile, but also not too muddy and washed out. All in all “Decay” is a great example of more or less traditional black metal, played with a lot of passion and delivered with professional engagement. While not necessarily something extraordinary or extremely innovative fans of the genre should definitely check this one out.