Constant To Death
Review by Felix on March 21, 2023.
Some bands are impressive only because of the fact that they see absolutely no reason to stop their activities. Their success commutes between small and non-existent, but who cares? One of these combos is Necronomicon. This year they throw their eleventh full-length on the market, widely ignored by the masses, if I am not mistaken. However, I am happy to see that there are still a few units that do not play black metal but thrash. I really love black metal, but I also like some variety and good thrash is pretty hard to find these days.
Necronomicon’s new workhorses are frighteningly trivial pieces like 'Stored In Blood'. It’s almost unbelievable: how do they manage to be in the business for so long while still being unable to realize totally meaningless choruses? Fortunately the missing quality of this track is not emblematic for 'Constant To Death'. More characteristic is the mid-tempo approach that shapes many tracks. This is a dubious way of proceeding. Just think of early thrash rockets like “Evil Has No Boundaries” or “Strike Of The Beast” and the massive energy they set free. By contrast, tracks like 'Black Rain' make it difficult for every listener to get crazy. Rasping guitars, solid riffs and a strong solo part – okay. But where is the momentum that makes you bang your head in a kind of ecstasy? Freely speaking, nowhere. Maybe a faster tempo could not be managed by the Exciter veteran on drums? (I don't write his name here, because every ex-Exciter drummer whose name is not Dan Beehler is a type of fake, haha.)
Even when the band does step on the gas, the result is a relatively colorless song like the kitschily titled 'Children Cry Alone'. Anyway, Constant To Death is no flop. Some tracks have charm. The riffs of the stomping opener achieve a proper degree of sharpness, 'They Lie' houses alarming guitar lines after the chorus, 'Redemption' does not lack pressure. Yet it is also true that Necronomicon has a problem to pen a song which provides a quality time from the beginning to the end. 'Bloodrush' scores with a strong chorus, 'The Guilty Shepherd' dishes up a fantastic guitar line. But the other elements devalue the outstanding components of these tracks. Even the extremely strong guitar line at the beginning of 'Death From Above' does not result in an excellent song.
In general, the song-writing skills of Necronomicon are still expendable – and that’s truly sad, 37 years after the release of the debut. Even the artwork makes me wonder. What kind of stupid monster is this, who likes this sort of pictures? From my point of view, the cover is symptomatic, because it shows that the combo has some deficits it just cannot erase. There is a lot of goodwill, more than just robust technical skills and, by the way, a crunchy, modern, powerful production, but artistic flashes of brilliance are rare. So we get an average album which does not show new ways for the thrash movement, but it also fails to find a firm link to the sounds of the old heroes. I respect the band’s will to go on and on, I would not have this overdose of stamina. Nevertheless, there may come a time when the guys should ask themselves the question of meaning.
Rating: 6 out of 10303