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To Death Are We Joined... - 89%

Thamuz, July 25th, 2006

We dare not to venture into the unknown. Whether it is a child fearing the absence of light under his or her bed, or a worshipper wishing away his fears of death, the thought of the void mesmerises us and perplexes us with its promises of finality. Let us pray. Let us cringe and hide. Let us die. Forever do we fear the day when fiends crawl out of the cracking surface of the earth and sweep over us like a plague of locusts, feasting upon our flesh until the dawn of eternity. Also do we fear the day when the tears of angels wash away the bloodied soil in a river of pain and suffering. Alas this would mean that we have perished into the place of no return. Alas our fickle life would be at an end.

Necromantia plunge unflinchingly into the dark abyss, spiralling without return towards the vast grey expanses of the netherworld. The uncertainty of life and the pale link between Life and Death bares its powerful jaws, whilst man shivers as thunder sounds in the distance, resonating in his sorrow as he tries to grasp at the mysteries of his puzzling existence. With a tragic sense of heroism, ‘Crossing The Fiery’ accepts the jaded fate of man, a Life destined to suffering within the morbidity of the universe, but instead of retreating to an early grave or taking asylum in a shell of hedonistic neurosis and hiding Reality behind Illusion, it resolutely presses on into the unknown, determined not to wallow in the insignificance of some God’s failures – fearless of the feral meaningless present in the mortal realm, well aware of he who rides on his pale horse.

Lessons learned from the early NWOBHM explosion are invaluable in forging this formidable work. The bounding intensity of Judas Priest is muddied under the stench of the 8-string bass and cleansed by the fruits of the earth, reviving itself triumphantly to march deep into the clouded future. The tempo is often halted so that the richly textured power chords can sound out as if they were the screams of dying souls echoing throughout the night air, reluctantly announcing the triumph of death. In these sections the storm brews, playfully taunting us mere mortals, until again the resurgent tremolo caresses our souls with its deathly touch. The phrases are long and include ambiguity, thus there is much to ponder. The warm, organic production helps give the atmosphere the tepid feel of a Mediterranean spring, a space of brooding and hellish deviance. Occasional lead breaks leap out like a serpent from the pits of Hades, unleashing waves of exotic melody and tension, winding and weaving in the darkness beyond the light, tempting the subconscious to venture out of its comfort zone. This world beyond is decorated in all its irreverent magnificence with slight traces of eerie synth - the choir of the dead. Ghoulish whispers narrate forlorn tales of demons and werewolves, the denizens of the night.

Stylish Mediterranean acoustic bass instrumentals and ambient interludes give this a distinct Greek feel – a celebration of the Hellenic spirit and its eagerness to seek wisdom and experience in the face of human mortality and the morbid nature of our irrational existence, finding beauty amongst the sadness of Death and honour amongst the desolate ruins of Life. This voice from the ancient past inspires us to reach towards the infinite possibilities of life and combined with Necromantia’s strong sense of the occult inspires us to look to Death to liberate us from the clutches of purposelessness. Herein Life is given a new meaning. For the strong soul this is a truly freeing experience, for the weak this is but an interruption in a life full of empty gesture. If anything, the message here is simple; find courage and venture into the unknown and you will find meaning behind the veils of Death.