The Wonderfully Putrid Stench of Death Metal
At first look, the modern day death metal scene is likely to come off as unappealing, due in part to recycled guitar riffs and over-commercialized deathcore bands. But undoubtedly, if you look hard enough, underground death metal is still keeping old school sounds alive and well with gore-oriented lyrics, inhuman screams and catchy guitar playing. Necrowretch is a great example of this. Formed in 2008, the band hails from France and is arguably one of the best death metal bands around today. With just 5,200 likes on Facebook, the band is signed to Century Media and has recently put out a compilation album of previously unreleased material, entitled Bestial Rites.
The compilation consists of a couple of demos, previously released material and an unreleased track. It’s a great selection of songs which sound very much like late ’80s death metal, both in terms of musical composition and production value. In regards to the first half of the songs, the production isn’t exactly low-fi, but has an unpolished feel that gives the tracks a very muddy and sinister vibe. The demos are even better, since the raw production is reminiscent of early ’90s tape trading circles of putrid, horrifying death metal.
If one were to put the bands Autopsy and Death in a blender with the European death metal sound, Necrowretch would be the end result. It’s difficult to spotlight tracks; they are all as good as each other. But something worth mentioning is that there are the three cover songs: “Zombie Ritual” by Death, “Supposed to Rot” by Nihilist and “Pure Hate” by Merciless, all of which are extremely well done. The Death cover is an especially interesting take, because they kept the spirit of the original while giving it a French death metal atmosphere.
Suffice it to say, this compilation is an absolute must buy for those who reminisce on the glory days of death metal, back when tape trading and horrifying songs were the norm. With catchy riffing, terrifying vocals, and a grim atmosphere, Necrowretch’s compilation is a successful collection of tracks that are worth buying.