Don’t I just love everything involving Lovecraft?
A brilliant horror fiction writer in his own way back at the beginning of the last century, he released materials that still find a large fan base to this day. Unfortunately, metal was not born yet at this time. And we had to wait some more time until some bands took notice. And started to write music on this subject.
The band name – Necronomicon – gets these guys a few brownie points to go straight away. Yet, the title of their new and fifth full-length album called Advent of the Human God may be somewhat and juicily blasphemous for Cthulhu and his brethren. And methinks that the subjects touched upon by the band are of a more earthly nature. At least for this new record.
Necronomicon started their career back in 1988 in Quebec, Canada. Not producing a lot of goodies for us earthlings for the first years, the band churned out a series of full-length studio albums starting 1999 with their first record Pharao of the Gods. Now 17 years later, Advent of the Human God is their 5th offering.
Right off the bat, Necronomicon demonstrate their knack for well structured, well written and well executed epic Melodic Black Metal. Out the door are the somewhat monotonous, blast-to-kill Death Metal offerings so prevalent in their 2013 album Rise of the Elder Ones.
However, as already mentioned by many of my co-reviewers, there is undeniably a distinct flavor of bands like Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir. In addition, some of that stuff appears very near Fleshgod Acopalypse and their King, mixed with some Abbath. You get the idea, I’m sure.
Advent of the Human God really lets out the epic beast this time!
Still, the disk starts with a disappointment: The intro The Descent is really something we have heard many times over like so much copycat. This is just a severe lack of innovation. The track is epic and well executed, yes, but also mercifully short.
You may rest in peace though, Advent of the Human God (the title song) provides immediate karma right after this. This is when the beast roars out of the gate. Actually well beyond that. A fitting follow-on, well garnished with this brand of blackened Atmospheric Death Metal of the melodic kind.
You may have gotten that earlier: Usually, I don’t care much for intros, outros and intermezzos and other ‘..o’s’. But the Omen-esque Okkultis Trinity just whets your appetite for the next blackened orgy of sounds to arrive. And it for sure comes to mama in the form of The Golden Gods. Some sort of a thrashy Melodic Death Metal brew, really down there in the pit, where it shines best.
The two cherries on this blackened cake appear towards the middle of the track list. Crown of Thorns delivers an Atmospheric blackened Melodic Death Metal piece that really got my attention. Reasonable progression throughout the track, culminating into a solo, shredding up and down the fretboard.
Now, it is not only the sound. The theme talks about the forced disappearance of the Canadian Indians. In a recent interview appearing in Voir, Rob the Witch states that the lyrics – and indeed the video – accuse the French to be guilty of genocide too. Ha! Apparently not to the liking of some French-speaking movements. Those like to think that it should all be (and remain) the Brits’ doing and so forth.
The second really powerful track on Advent turns out to be The Fjord. Nothing to do with any Scandinavian fjord, the band reassure us. But this talks about the Saguenay Fjord in Quebec – the homeland of 2/3 of the Necronomicon crew, so I understand. Both of these songs, curiously appear in the middle of the track list and display a passion and a powerful musical prowess that really pulls the quality of the whole record up a star or so. If only more such tracks would appear on Advent.
This would be a stellar record, no holds barred.
Unfortunately, this did not happen and you will find a few stumbling blocks along this metal path. The main point of contention is definitely the drum work. This is like eating the same turkey all over again for weeks after turkey day. With loads of clicky and endless bass drum kicks with no variation whatsoever.
Then, the compression is set to a level that all tracks appear sanitized to a point. With no real edges left to draw blood from. No nooks and crannies left to speak of, capable to hide some gems to discover by the esteemed fan base. This means that many of the tracks, whilst well executed, are somewhat generic. And seemingly come from already covered ground somewhere in the metal universe.
In the end, we got ourselves somewhat of a mixed bag of goodies. Yet Advent of the Human God is definitely a good album. I would have liked to see more passionate tracks like The Fjord and Crown of Thorns.
Those are proof that they got it in them. And could produce an album that would really stand out like a sore thumb in an already overloaded genre. Whilst they did unfortunately not quite get there this time, the album still unleashes a metal crunch that will make you pause and listen. More than once.