Necrowretch greet holy week with horrific homage to forces of pure evil on ‘Satanic Slavery’

Satan. He sure gets around, huh? That guy’s face and influence are all over metal, and he has been a major force pretty much from the start of the genre. Now, there are bands that aren’t just making music about the horror version of Satan but are branching out and paying homage to spiritual forces that are very far and away from the Biblical version of the devil.

Yet, we still have bands in our midst that go the terrifying bloodshed route with the fellow downstairs, and one of them is French death machine Necrowretch. Over the course of their first two records, both released by Century Media, the band has done its best to return death and black metal to the grave, reminding that this style of music is best when it’s played in the ugliest form possible. On their new and third effort “Satanic Slavery,” they’ve added more elements of pure evil to their mission, making this their bloodiest, most blasphemous record to date. All of this during Holy Week at that! Nonetheless, with Season of Mist now behind them, this band—guitarist/vocalist Vlad, guitarist /bassist Kev Desecrator, and drummer Ilmar—unleashes a hellacious assault over eight tracks and nearly 39 minutes. This is an ideally portioned record that makes the most of its time and absolutely devastates without mercy.

“Sprawl of Sin” begins the record with a weird soundscape before the cut rips open and goes for the throat. A nasty path of death is beaten, with a glass-gargling chorus and the guitars lighting up. The soloing is razor sharp, with an awesome classic feel before the track crushes all the way to its finish. “Tredeciman Blackfire” is furious and blinding, with vicious growls and grinding death mashing flesh. The pace is grim and stomping, with Vlad wailing about “evil prophecies,” and the final minutes going raw and metallic, with death bells stinging. The title cut is utterly savage, cutting a path toward the lungs and making a case for the evil one’s powers. The track makes it feel like your muscles are being mangled in a blender, with growls plastering and guitars swirling. “Evil Names” dips into doom waters but also unleashes riffs that sound like vintage Slayer. The drums pulverize as the music spills into mind-warping territory, with the guitars spilling fire and devastating thrashing leaving massive bruises.

“Hellspawn Pyre” is heavy as hell and blasts through cement walls, with the guitars boiling and the pace spewing violence. Every moment of this track is vicious and punishing, leaving massive dents everywhere. “Bestial Rites” erupts with drums blasts spraying and the pace clobbering. The growls are vicious and animalistic, as the chorus sheds blood and grinds at flesh, and stunning riffs hurtling toward the finish. “Curse of Blasphemy” is mucky and ugly, launching into raw chaos and a chorus that barks its orders. Unhinged cries do their damage physically and mentally, while the title is howled repeatedly and is chock full of terror. Closer “Verses From the Depth” destroys from moment one, with inhuman growls arriving and the drums eating away like acid. While most of the track sickens and the bulk of the vocals sound delivered by a mad man, the final moments change things. Proggy guitar work lands, as if from the cosmos, and a final fire-breathing solo drags the record to its killer end.

Necrowretch keep alive the more traditional tenets of death and black metal on “Satanic Slavery,” a record that makes no bones about its blood bathing in pure evil. The music is ripping and deadly, and the album itself is some of their most immediate music. This is metal that isn’t trying to win awards or critical accolades and only cares about how much plasma is spilled.

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