After a decade-long life that until today had yielded only two demos in 2913 and 2015, the Swedish death metal band Nekrosity have at last released a debut album, the name of which is Void Gazer. It’s the kind of release that obviously reveals not only a deep affection and understanding of death metal’s golden age (as represented on both sides of the Atlantic) but also a level of song-writing and performance skill that displays maturity (three of Nekrosity’s members are also current or former participants in Sadistic Grimnness, whose roots go back 20 years)… and a hell of a lot of hard work. It’s such a damned good album, and so capable of appealing to even jaded fans of old school death metal in its differing formulations, that we enthusiastically seized on the opportunity to help spread the word through this feature.
The reference points are indeed varied — from Grave and Asphyx to Autopsy and Death, from old Entombed and Necrophagia to Morbid Angel and Slayer (and a mention of Demonical among more latter-day bands isn’t out of place either) — but the proficiency with which Nekrosity fluidly combine those influences in Void Gazer makes the album stand out in the vast pack of bands that have been part of the death metal revival over the last decade.
Slow, ringing tones and doom-y chords introduce the opening song, “Insemination of the Forgotten“, but that intro proves to be a big head-fake when Nekrosity abruptly erupt in a torrent of battering drums and blazing, blaring chords. Fleet-fingered fretwork and bestial howls contribute to the feeling of rampant mayhem, which surges even further into the red zone behind the propulsion of a flame-throwing solo.
The tempos in the song continue to vary, slowing into morbid stomps and accelerating behind new fast-jabbing riffs and ferocious work by the rhythm section. At the end, when the band reprise the music from the intro, it no longer sounds like such a divergence — you realize how well everything in the song has been integrated despite all the dynamic changes that have been occurring.
The sinister, electrifying energy, the rhythmic dynamism, the morbid atmosphere, and the accents of spectral melody in that opening song prove themselves to be hallmarks of the album as a whole. Across the remaining seven tracks Nekrosity interweave cruel, demonic tremolo riffing, blasts of nefariously grand and wretchedly pestilential melody, crazed soloing, and constantly changing tempos and rhythmic patterns. The moods are invariably dark, but range from the necrotic oppressiveness of the tomb to the sulphurous ecstasy of rampant savagery. Moreover, Daniel Johansson‘s barbarous growled vocals are deep and well-rounded — and consistently fearsome.
As further icing on the cake, the band have produced the album in a way that gives it crushing power, and they wrap their permutations around highly headbangable through-lines of groove, while dishing up plenty of blood-pumping drum fills and jolting cannonades. And the melodies in the songs, which provide contrasts of macabre majesty and strangling gloom, of skin-shivering eeriness and hopeless misery, are interwoven and infiltrated into these extravagant displays of ferocity and evil in ways that demonstrate impressive song-writing skill.
We hope you enjoy Void Gazer as much as we have. It’s being released on CD by the Swedish label Growls from the Underground, and it’s also available as a digital download. A vinyl LP version will become available during the winter. To pick up the album, check the links below.
GROWLS FROM THE UNDERGROUND: