Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Necrocosm "Damnation Doctrine" 2015 Self-released

I have to be careful when I review melodic death metal. I generally loathe the style and that loathing will bleed through unnecessarily if I'm not careful, and I want to be careful with this one, because Necrocosm is not deserving of the hate I have for melodic death. Stylistically the first thing I thought was Black Dahlia Murder with a touch of Gothenburg-era Swedish melodic death, and it reminds me ever so slightly, and I mean ever so slightly, of Cleveland metal greats Soulless. Necrocosm has a little bit of the underground death metal sound that I love so much, so I didn't write them off right away. The riffs come fast and heavy, albeit melodic, and the drums and bass are tight and skilled. I feel that the vocals aren't as strong as they could be, and I would probably like this a lot better if the vocals stayed in the low range. It's unusual in melodic death to have a low growling singer (which is why I like the bands that opt for it), but Necrocosm has opted for the smorgasbord approach to vocals, incorporating lows, mids, and highs as far as growls go, and some yells, but thankfully none of the dreaded clean vocals that have infected this subgenre and completely ruined it for me. Any time someone says "traditional metal sensibility" in regard to melodic death metal it makes me want to vomit. Necrocosm doesn't touch that end of the spectrum, and it's a welcome change from the norm. This isn't bad stuff, although I'm not going to listen to it all the time. Getting me to sit through a melodic death metal album is a feat, made more formidable by the fact I sat through this twice trying to figure out if I liked it or not. I'm still on the fence a little bit, but found myself doing what I normally do when I hear something I like (moving feet, playing air drums, handing invisible oranges to no one in particular), so my prejudice might be getting in the way when I say I can't figure out if I like it. I'm sure it's one that will grow on me as time goes on. This is easily the only worthwhile melodic death metal release I've heard in a while, so fans of that style, get on the ball. They have 15 of the physical item left, according to Bandcamp, but downloads will be in perpetuity unless they take it down. Go get it.