May 14, 2013 | , | 4

Necrocurse, Grip Of The Dead

Necrocurse: Grip Of The Dead

If you don’t have a clue as to what to expect on the long awaited debut from Sweden’s Necrocurse, just take a quick gander at that there album cover. Yup. Skeletons rising from a pit of lava, flaming angels and a cemetery setting. That pretty much sums up Grip of the Dead as succinctly as possible. These eleven tracks are full of blasphemous, thrashing death metal charred by the blackened fires of Hades. It’s as raw as road rash and as one dimension as an inverted cross, yet it works so well.

Once you get through the mood setting sermon of intro “Preludium of Devastation” and the rather goofy, self flagellation of “Necrocurse”, then you really get into the rotten meat of the album. “Rotten in the Dark” really sees these guys — Nifelheim’s Hellbutcher on screams, Runemagick’s Nicklas Rudolfsson on drums, Stefan Rodin and Martin Andersson on guitars and Johan Bäckman (ex-Runemagick) on bass — letting loose with some malevolent death metal. Crawling, buzzing riffs along with blackened rhythms and Hellbutcher’s raspy screams work together perfectly. The raw aesthetic and old school vibe only prove to amplify the vileness within which these songs dwell.

“The Devil Cobra” carries the momentum along quickly with a bit of a rock vibe (found predominantly in the track’s lead work) and “Ripping Darkness” plays with a palate of darkness and desolation as the guys plunder their way through stomping rhythms and caustic riffs. Necrocurse unleashes absolute hell with the blasting and frantic “Death Metal Rebels,” while “Speed to the Grave” has a definite shredding in the garage feel to it. I love the rawness to this album’s sound, and the title track exemplifies that feeling to the 666th degree. It’s a vicious track and is the most aggressive and raging song on the album.

The closing pair of songs, “Coffin Breakers” and “Infernal Rebellion,” showcase the influences from the band member’s other projects nicely. From the damn near straightforward thrashing black metal destruction of the first to the oppressing shroud of evil of the album closer, both songs are standouts on an album that reinvigorates this rotten soul.

The overall stain of blackened thrash is everywhere within this album — it’s not content with just showing up here and there, but instead leaves its mark across each and every track. Sometimes that’s to the detriment of the album as the songs can run together and carry a similar sound, but when all is said and done, Grip of the Dead is a solid fucking album.