Sunday, July 23, 2017

Necrot – Blood Offerings

Blood Offerings” is the debut full-length from American death metal band Necrot. This group’s primary influence is anything from the early 1990s. The album is a horror-filled, downtuned experience, with more than enough riffs to satisfy fans of old-school death metal. Predictably, many of these riffs are various patterns of tremolo picking, with the occasional chunkier riffing built in. Most songs have a riff or two that uses what sounds like minor-third trills (much in the way that Cannibal Corpse absolutely worships that type of riff). The guitar tone is murky enough that most of the riffs sound very similar, but all of them hit reasonably hard.

Necrot has nailed the production on “Blood Offerings”, and there is little to reveal that this album was released in 2017. Everything from the thunderous double bass, to the ghoulish vocals sounds as though it was recorded 25 years ago. Similar to that era, they also use blast beats where appropriate, rather than the more modern trend to shoehorn them in as often as possible. In many ways, Necrot’s sound has a definite thrash influence to it, even if the music the band plays isn’t thrash. For example, they have a decent number of riffs that are simply downpicking for the first half, followed by a few chords or palm-muted notes in the second half. 

The only real flaw of “Blood Offerings” is its adherence to death metal’s “no songwriting” policy that seemingly infected the subgenre after the first wave of bands finished writing classic albums. After 5 listens, there isn’t a single memorable song or moment on this record. It all pretty much sounds the same, and lacks any hooks. It’s absolutely a great collection of riffs, but if you’re looking for much beyond that, travel back to anytime between 1989-1992 and throw a dart. This would be a far superior release with more formulaic songwriting. Nevertheless, “Blood Offerings” delivers exactly what you’d expect it to, and for that reason, it is an essential listen for major fans of old-school death metal.

Be sure to check out and like Necrot on Facebook!

Highlights
All of it

Final Rating
3.7/5 or 74%. 

Written by Scott

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Toxik – Breaking Class

New material from classic 80s thrash band Toxik has been anticipated for a long time. Not just because it’s almost 30 years since their last record, but also because the band has been working on it for seemingly a very long time. Though it’s not a full length, “Breaking Class” is what the band has come up with so far, and the result may not be too enticing to long time Toxik fans. The band definitely still plays thrash, but instead avoid the super technical nature they were once known for. In addition, the return of “Think This” vocalist Charles Sabin isn’t all that noticeable. He rarely hits a sky-high note, instead opting for a more normal upper range voice. Fortunately, mainman Josh Christian still has plenty of opportunities to show that his shredding skills are just as impressive as they were 30 years ago, with his best playing coming on "Psyop".

Everything about “Breaking Class” feels a little too modern. The American flag on the cover makes it immediately clear what this entire EP is about, giving it strong vibes of Coldsteel’s “America Idle” EP (though that one was far superior). Even though the riffs themselves are pretty fast, it just doesn’t feel as authentic as it once did. The title track is definitely the fastest and best of the three songs, and it has an outstanding nod to the title track of “World Circus” with a psychotic riff after the first chorus, but the overall impact of the song isn’t quite what one would hope for. 

Breaking Class” ultimately falls in a very strange space in terms of reunion efforts because it doesn’t completely miss the mark like many other bands, and yet it just doesn’t feel right. The sound and technical skill are there, but they don’t come together properly, and so this EP is likely to get lost amidst the plethora of modern sounding thrash releases being released in 2017. 

Be sure to check out and like Toxik on Facebook!

Highlights
"Breaking Class"

Final Rating
3.3/5 or 66%. 

Written by Scott