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Window dressing and goat noises - 55%

we hope you die, April 7th, 2021

Sometimes, all you need to bring together are the most boiler plate elements if the aesthetic is well and truly nailed. So it seems to be with Poland’s Nekkrofukk, whose latest album – entitled *breathes in* ‘Mysterious Rituals in the Abyss of Sabbath & Eternal Celebration of the Blakk Goat’ – is a conveyor belt of the most basic, generic, unoriginal doom metal riff fodder imaginable, that still somehow raises its head above the pack. The chief reason for this is the early Impaled Nazarene sheen the whole thing has been painted with.

A worthy demonstration of this is the track ‘Devil’s Blood Inekktion’, which hangs on a stoner doom riff of all things, but is elevated not just by Lord K.’s singular vocals, but also a delivery and mix that speaks of a total lack of shits given in regard to more discerning audiences. The guitar tone itself is meaty, well suited to the doom metal stylings this album rides on. Those aforementioned vocals are a gargled, monstrous construction that both fleshes out the mix and adds some welcome theatrics to proceedings. Drums are perhaps the flattest element of the production, with little to bolster up their overall presentation. But this shortcoming is perhaps forgivable given their clear low standing in delivering the goods of this album beyond simple time keeping.

Beyond that, all the usual trappings are there, random animal (goat) noises, church bells, spontaneous vocal ejaculations, and church organs. But those looking for a new musical journey will be sourly disappointed by ‘Mysterious Rituals…’. This is the musical equivalent of a well-made but ultimately referential b-movie cobbled together from knowing winks to other works and in-jokes for genre aficionados.

For these reasons and more Nekkrofukk are closer to figures of fun such as Acid Witch than they are a serious blackened doom affair. And as with Acid Witch, we are being asked to decide if the projects stands or falls on its own metrics of tongue in cheek fun. In this regard we must count it as a success. ‘Mysterious Rituals…’ is well made enough to avoid the pitfalls of the obnoxious or just plain clueless. There is enough substance to the music to hold the attention, and in moments lacking said substance Nekkrofukk lay out enough window dressing to keep us at least entertained.

But success on one’s own terms does not necessarily amount to success in a wider context. The aspirations can still be criticised for being overly modest, base, ultimately pointless beyond passing the time, and in creeps the knockoff b-movie analogy again. Crack out some popcorn, kick back, enjoy, this is truly music fitting of the couch dwelling culture the last year has subjected us to.

originally published at Hate Meditations