Friday, September 18, 2015
War Atrocities - Necromantical Legions
Croatia, land of... well... Croatians! We've all heard about how Croatia is refusing to accept refugees from Syria. I'm sure that this is to protect the solid metal that I've heard from the country. War Atrocities, a complete and total throwback band, sipping from the wellspring of Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Bathory are indicative of the quality metal from this region of the world. There is a certain sense of modernity difficult to pinpoint on Necromantical Legions but when ninety-five percent of your material could appear on To Mega Therion or Apocalyptic Raids that other five percent of modern flourish is not worth worrying about. The project of sole perpetrator Wastelander, Necromantical Legions will stir up the feels in your heels and haunt your skull with metal-not-so-dull.
The EP starts with what is probably a little bit too long of a moody devilish soundtrack-esque intro marking over two minutes on your time sheet. Destruktor Of Eternal is the first impression of War Atrocities and the impression is to check to make sure you're not listening to Celtic Frost b-sides you've never heard of. Fourth volley, "Cryptic Calls" once again summons Tom G. Warrior and crew. At four and a half minutes, it's the longest of the tracks here. "Storm of the Tyrants" is punkier than the previous tracks. It rummages around with myriad tremolo riffs and sputtered vocals, making it my least favorite track. "Ripper Lust" is a faster varied track with drums pumping out several different beats under the riffs, serving up some good listening - and headbanging - metal. Necromantical Legions closes out with a cover of Bathory's Armageddon. The songs are all in the three or four minute range which, is possibly the only pacing issue I see. One or two longer tracks with some additional dynamics would have broken up the record and highlighted the faster parts but it's a minor thought.
Production is overall very good here. Necromantical Legions sounds like 80's death metal / thrash. The saws have the iconic fuzz of yesteryear covered in cobwebs and grit but with a clear sound. They are the prevalent instrument in the EP's mix, positioned in front of all the other instruments. Bass is noticeable with several layers of tone throughout the mix ranging from a low booming rumble across the spectrum to some overdriven distortion appearing in some tracks such as "Cryptic Calls" and "Ripper Lust." Wastelander's vocals are a little low in the mix for my taste, simply because he puts on a good performance with tons of grunts peppered around as if seasoning a slab of steak for grilling. The drums sound totally natural but are programmed. In fact, they sound so natural I had to email Wastelander to ensure accurate reporting here. Go ahead and be concerned about programmed drums, but not in this case. Don't let that discourage from hearing an absolutely awesome release. War Atrocities is worth the investigation for fans of anything mentioned in this review.