Truly Dire

It took 2 minutes for me to realise that the first track of 'The Sound Of Lucifer Storming Heaven' had actually started. The sound was reminiscent of an introductory song that built up to an ass kicking opening tune, a trick so often played in the metal genre. Then I realised that it actually was the first song and I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

The production on this album is so shit that if they'd said someone walking past their rehearsal space had recorded it using a mobile phone I wouldn't be at all surprised. Necromantia have been doing the devils work for eighteen years now, and, after almost two decades, I would've thought they'd be good at what they do. But then again, perhaps they are, which is quite a frightening thought.

The main stalwarts of Necromantia are Magus Wampyr Daoloth on bass and Baron Blood also on bass (eh?). Baron Blood is credited on the album with playing bass solos, which is quite handy when you're the bass player. At least Necromantia have tried to break from the norm by replacing the usual rhythm guitars for 8 string bass guitars (8 strings? The neck must be a foot wide). Does this approach work? I won't dance around and mince my words, I'll simply say it's bloody awful. This sort of black metal gives the whole scene a bad name, no, I'll go further than that, it gives metal a bad name. The bass guitars are just a mush underneath an under-produced and dull sounding drum kit.

Magus's vocals are the usual black metal shouting, albeit with too much reverb, but a million miles away from the Dani Filths of this world. Occasionally the band incorporates orchestration, which, fills the sound nicely because at least the strings are in stereo. When the orchestration is mixed with the metal, the album, on occasions, does sound atmospheric. However after several seconds the bass guitars just irritate the sphincter and you're squirming on the chair, or perhaps that's the intention, who knows.

According to the blurb on the back, 'The Sound Of Lucifer Storming Heaven' is violent, brutal, sinister, majestic and powerful. But it is anything but. It's messy, badly written, shoddily recorded and an embarrassment to the word 'Metal'. After a couple of listens I finally came to the conclusion that the reason why they have two bass players is that no guitarist in their right mind would put their name to this music. If only they'd spent more time putting a real band together and working on the production of the bass and drums than they did on the orchestration and choirs, then they might have something worth listening to. The old cliché says, "The devil has all the best tunes," sadly, Necromantia prove that this isn't always the case. Stick with Gorgoroth and Marduk.