It is high time to clean up the loose ends that still flap about our review pipe from last year. On top of that, we – for sure – don’t want to upset the Great Old Ones by forgetting to unchain that review for Necronomicon‘s latest full-length record UNUS (the number one). This newest concoction of those Canadian metal extremists of truly long standing that came to our turntables in late 2019.
The record for sure seamlessly latches on to its former incarnation Advent of the Human God. And this can be good, or it can be bad, depending on how you look at things. So, for those on a quest for innovation in Death Metal, the offering of this record may not shine so bright. Because this band does not easily change their style and flavor.
But UNUS surely talks big time to Necronomicon‘s die-hard fanbase. And those will take no prisoners and surely grovel to those old, terrible Lovecraftian gods. Because, them old entities – too – don’t change, ever. That is not dead which can eternal lie, right? And you don’t want to be here, if they awake and visit with you.
This time, the record wastes no time with foreplay and gets right down to it. From Ashes into the Flesh just leaps more or less straight off into this deathly yonder. Those murky depths bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse so aptly occupy.
Yet, perhaps not quite at the atomic levels of interstellar energy the latter lately displayed. But this would be difficult to achieve, to say the least. And again, you’ll find those close encounters with this Abbath-esque devilry we so often found in the last record.
It is also this gluttony – perceived or real – of kinda artificially tainted symphonic elements of all kinds that bothered me. The band truly pushed them buttons way too many times. Which leaves that lingering plastic aftertaste, a certain overly synthetic impression, after the metal rumbled by. A fact that even the sometimes slightly Omen-esque choirs cannot hide.
Yet, UNUS spawns some pretty tasty tracks, too. The Thousand Masks caught my eardrums big time, for instance. The one with that steamy and slightly, yet tastily disturbing video that we linked below. Apart from the aforementioned Ashes that continued to howl out of our music machine for a while.
Then again, as the record finally lumbers ahead with some pretty decent speed, UNUS hits these kinda weird intermezzos. The newly flavored intro lookalike to FA’s King called The Price Of A Soul is one of ’em. This may be Cthulhu’s revenge for our dislike of them needless intros, I guess. Fiery speedbumps in its cosmic realm of true, raging madness.
That said, after about midpoint, UNUS loses a lot of the cheese. And gets going with some real meat on those scarce Death Metal bones. After Fhtagn – yet another speed bump – Cursed MMXIX chimes in with this truly powerful Thrash Metal offering. The one track that dissolves into some pretty Hegg-like growls, only that there are no Vikings over there.
Necronomicon finally and truly step on it in Vox Draconis. Real power, spiced with that tasty solo that rings out at just before mid-point. That’s some really juicy, menacing blackened Melodic Death Metal right there. That is what I was looking for all along, and finally found it at – the end of the piece. Damn.
You see, if I were to draw an energy graph for UNUS, the curb would probably be u-shaped. A bit like a horseshoe. With From Ashes into the Flesh at the start, the one track that gave us real pause. Then down she goes with Singularis Dominus at the bottom and the aforementioned duo Cursed MMXIX / Vox Draconis at its fulminant opposite end.
It is this intermittent energy thing that quite bothered the RMR deck crew. If you don’t feel that continuous fire in a record, quickly interest evaporates and you lose yourself in those cold wastes of Kadath.
In this respect, UNUS goes down well when reading one of those dreadful stories. A comfortable piece, as far as horror stories go. But nothing that really set that crew here aflame with unseen bursts of magic fireworks.
A rock-solid, slightly blackened, Death Metal record. Nothing more, and nothing less.