Album Review: RITUAL NECROMANCY Disinterred Horror
You really can't go wrong with death metal like this. I mean, that is unless you're one of those types on social media that likes to say how stuff with demonic and occult themes that acts as an homage and continuation of classic death metal is "the kind of thing that holds metal back." If so, that's just fascinating. You must be fun at parties.
But for those of us who worship at the throne of Incantation, and their horde of acolytes in Dead Congregation, Spectral Voice, Blaspherian, Ignivomous, Imprecation, and Funebrarum, Ritual Necromancy's Disinterred Horror is a welcome addition to this canon of dark, menacing death metal. Putting it this way, of course, means that what you think of songs like "Command the Sigil" and "Discarnate Machination" depends largely on what you think of the aforementioned bands.
Ritual Necromancy plays this style perfectly. The vocals are as deep as Hell is low. The guitars paint the thunderous portrait of flames and continents breaking apart. The rhythm section provides the fuel to keep the fires burning from start to finish. Also, the production isn't overdone; yet it still cleans up a lot of what made 2012's Oath of the Abyss kind of a mess (unless they were going for the whole "War Metal" thing…but I didn't see the word "goat" in any of the song titles, so I'm not sure that's the case).
So if I have no quibbles with the execution of the music on this album, and the style is my favorite type of death metal (broadly speaking), then why bother to review it? Well here's one reason: perhaps we can address what's so great about this style. All metal has an imaginative element to it; this cuts both ways. The artist uses imagination to feed into the riffs, lyrics, and all the rest. Through the communicative process of listening, the audience's own imagination gets fired up as well. This deep, dirge-heavy and monstrous style is incredibly evocative.
Songs like "To Raise the Writhing Shadows" conjure images of witches gathering for a grand ritual, or demons gathering in the city of Dis for a grand assault on the gates of heaven. We call this music "dark" because it has the ability to take us to these sorts of places. This is why the low, guttural vocals and creepy pinch-harmonics are hallmarks of the style. It's that mix of confusion and joy that comes from saying, "What on earth is this?" then moving to "Whatever this is, it rules!"
I can only think of two possible complaints with this album. For one thing, MORE of it would be nice. Maybe two more songs, each between 4-6 minutes in length, could have beefed things up nicely. Second, they may have mastered the Onward to Golgotha/Diabolical Conquest-sound a little too perfectly. On future albums, they may want to try and throw a couple more influences into their witches' brew. Perhaps some touches of Immolation and early Gorguts would blend in nicely to help Ritual Necromancy create a more characteristic sound. Otherwise, the band should feel proud of successfully raising so many writhing shadows on this album.
Favorite songs: "To Raise the Writhing Shadows" and "Command the Sigil"
(Fun fact: The drummer is also in a band called Winter of Apokalypse, who had an album in 2004 called Solitary Winter Night that I used to spin on my radio show back in the day- good times!)