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BLASPHEMY, SODOM AND PHALLIC RITUALS - 92%

Phaesforos, January 7th, 2016
Written based on this version: 1994, CD, Unisound Records

Beginning as I do in the beginning and starting as I must in the start, let me show you darkness through the echoes of a forgotten release and its era..

First things first; Necromass is not a random band. They had a major effect on a circle of black metal fans and bands in the mid '90s with their debut release Mysteria Mystica Zofiriana. Let us go back in time; in the early '90s when Norwegians started to spread the word of the second wave of black metal throughout Europe, there was a whole parallel world of B.M. expressed through the prism of death metal's evolution. Now some would say that this motherless (country wise) genre is a bit closer to the origins of elementary black metal because it preserves clearly the connection with its source. And one thing is for sure: black metal is the younger brother of thrash and death metal. This particular genre, that was never meant to fit between the narrow boundaries of any tag (black/death metal one could say but it's too restrictive), was represented during the '90s by bands such as Absu, Ancient Rites, Impaled Nazarene, Necrophobic, Mystifier, Samael, the Greek black metal scene (Necromantia, Rotting Christ, Thou Art Lord etc), Beherit, Bal Sagoth and of course Italy had its own suggestion through Mortuary Drape and Necromass.

What Necromass managed to create with M.M.Z. (by accident or by purpose it still remains a question) was utter darkness and one of the most blasphemous soundscapes in the history of black metal. The ingredients they've used were the good old arts of aggressive metal and a ritualistic background of unholy orgies blessed in goatborn blood. Musically there's no need for much to be said. When it comes for such special releases words might be confusing over articulating but I'll give it a try. There's a great deal of aggressiveness and blasts here as well as atmospheric passages with keyboards and acoustic guitars that almost reach the fields of melancholy in moments. The rotten production leaves a lot of space for the Grand Inquisitor Commander and Ain Soph Aour to develop their multiple screams and curses. While drumming sounds as natural as it gets, guitars sound a little low. Their technique is similar to raw and primitive death metal in parts and it's not clear if they're downturned or not. Overall they're suitable to the final outcome. Keyboard parts offer clarity to the phallic symbolisms that M.M.Z. carries and of course acoustic guitars create a whole new level of dark atmosphere with their Mediterranean temperament. M.M.Z. is a release of rare aesthetics and I'm having a really hard time trying to compare it with any other release I know. I'm not sure if Nazxul's Totem is a good example but it's close enough.

To be honest, I don't think that M.M.Z. fulfills the taste of many but it's definitely a classic and unique album with a rare vibe of vintage black metal. If you like the early works of the above mentioned bands, you might appreciate this one too.

Combine Mysteria Mystica Zofiriana with The Diabolic Serenades (Ancient Rites) and Eosforos (Thou Art Lord) then add some Totem (Nazxul) and have a nice trip to hell and possibly back.

-Phaesforos