(DGR takes over this Sunday’s weekly feature on the metal of yesteryear.)
I’ve decided to hijack the Rearview Mirror column this Sunday because there’s been an idea playing on my mind for the past few days, as I’ve been going over my music collection trying to dig up more obscure stuff that we’ve never taken the time to talk about on NCS — in some cases, because the site wasn’t around yet.
It’s the idea of abums that I’m not quite sure why I have, but when I give them a listen I find that they were generally good discs that I’ve forgotten about. Most of the time, I would argue that it’s because they were half-good albums, discs that to me were enjoyable but for whatever reason just did not stick.
There are a handful of albums out there that I would describe as half-good — hinting at greatness but instead dragged down back into the “good” realm for a variety of reasons. Whether because of odd song choices, too much time devoted to uninspired mid-tempo tracks, or strange production, they tend to weigh on me more than I’m willing to admit, mostly as I find myself saying, “You know, they were on to something with a handful of these songs”. More often than not, I find that my “half-good” discs tend to be from local bands, but in this case we’ll be going on an international trip to Germany.
German death metal band Necroid were founded in 2000, and the currently four-piece band have two albums and a demo to their name: a 2005 release named Natural Disharmonies and their last release, Nefarious Destiny, which came out in 2008. Nefarious Destiny is one of the few albums where I have zero idea how I came across it. No memory whatsoever. I can only assume it was during the immediate post-2006 period where I was checking out anything and everything I even caught a whiff of being “alright”. I was determined to find a ton of music, and a large swath of my music collection’s beginnings come from that era, especially as ReverbNation and various other sites were really coming into their own as sources of free music posted by bands.
Nefarious Destiny is one of those death metal albums that sits on a very fine line between death, thrash, and groove. Those are three of the elements that have made up death metal as an overarcing genre over the years, and different bands like to break those specific bits out, with the various changes in balance being what differentiate the groups. The issue with Nefarious Destiny, in my eyes, was that on about half of the songs, the band weren’t quite sure what direction to go in, so you wound up with thrash guitar parts kind of haphazardly crashing into chugging groove sections and blast beats propelling the whole thing.
On the handful of songs where Necroid did figure it out, though, the group nailed it to the wall. As a faster-moving death metal band, Necroid were onto something, and that’s where my frustration with Nefarious Destiny lies. Songs like “Manipulation”, “Racked And Ruined”, “Shadows Of The Light”, and “Demolishing Poetry” were all crushing tracks. “Manipulation” especially, with its shorter run-time and hefty bass section it its opening, was what sold me on Nefarious Destiny.
In general, I found that the songs I was a huge fan of were the ones that were quicker moving. Necroid were at their best on Nefarious Destiny whenever they decided to be a death metal band with a penchant for faster moving thrash songs. Those songs make up about half the disc, which means that Nefarious Destiny is one of the few albums that for me was literally “half-good”. The other half of the disc isn’t bad, but I was never a huge fan of slower moving, groove-heavy death unless it was nigh-apocalyptic sounding, and in Necroid’s case it was more guitar-chug, a la old school death metal influence than anything else.
If you find the five songs I chose this Sunday to be enjoyable, maybe look at the rest of the disc as well.