It turns out that Norway isn't only the home of a bunch of bands that bastardized the black metal genre (sans a few bands of course), but also some great new thrash acts. Bands like Tantara, Conflagration and this group of crazy bastards in Nekromantheon, are all delivering some top notch music. In addition to having an awesome name, Nekromantheon's take on thrash in 2012 is just as impressive, as shown by their work on "Rise, Vulcan Spectre," the band's sophomore album.
I wouldn't call this band a full on black/thrash act, but there are definitely some glimpses of a black metal influence, especially in the whole sounding evil department. The music on "Rise, Vulcan Spectre" does indeed sound evil. Songs like "Cast Down to the Void" and "Embrace the Oracle" both have their fair share of spine chilling moments, due to the amazing guitar tone and the howling vocals that sound a lot like a much younger Tom Angelripper. Not only do these guys have an evil ambiance to them that isn't often heard in thrash bands, but they also conjure up some wicked riffs meant to snap your neck. The break in "Coven of the Minotaur" is absolutely devastating and if your head isn't banging, then you should probably see a doctor because something clearly isn't right.
To reiterate how great this album is, the band just succeeds in every department. The midpaced brilliance is untouchable and the dark feel to the music is also fantastic, but Nekromantheon can also write some stellar riffs. Seriously, there's at least one riff in every song where my jaw nearly hit the floor. The riff that kicks off the title track is one of the best I've heard from any new thrash act and the riffs in "The Usurper Command" and "Blood Wisdom" are equally tremendous. Another piece of praise that must be given to this album has to do with the lead guitar work. The solos throughout "Rise, Vulcan Spectre" are all awesome. Nothing too technical, but they all fit the music perfectly and aren't outshined by the superb riffs behind them.
I'm going to cut the review off here, because I might not stop praising this album. If you haven't had the pleasure of listening to Nekromantheon yet, then they should be a top priority for your new music list. They don't exactly bring anything new to the table or show any intent on being original, but they play their music with such conviction and energy that I find it impossible to fault them for it and instead I find myself wanting to put "Rise, Vulcan Spectre" on repeat.
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"Cast Down to the Void"
"Embrace the Oracle"
"Rise, Vulcan Spectre"
4.5/5 or 90%.