REVIEWED: Nordjevel's ‘Necrogenesis’
With spasm-inducing riffs that race along at a million miles an hour, Nordjevel’s latest homage to the blackest of black, full-length 'Necrogenesis', is not for the faint of heart.
Drawing comparison with Dark Funeral, Marduk and Immortal, Nordjevel reject the more melodic traits of evolved black metal and accelerate their terrifying tempos to the max. Although only recently formed in 2015, these Norwegian ne’er-do-wells have plenty of firepower to wage their campaign, with their current line-up reading like a roll-call of black metal Illuminati. No wide-eyed newcomers, these are hardened veterans of the scene, frost-blasted and weather-beaten. Dominator, formerly of Dark Funeral, is the drummer, Morbid Angel’s Destructhor takes on guitar while vocals are assigned to Doedsadmiral who has a number of notable credits under his belt, including Enepsigos. DezeptiCunt of Ragnorak fame takes the helm, leading his troupe through the genre’s hoary hell-scape like the four horsemen of the apocalypse, wielding their instruments as weapons and getting ready to spread scourging fire - leaving other bands to disintegrate in their wake as mere wisps of inky smoke.
Indeed, this second album is not so much about crafting an art-form as waging a war. 'Sunset Glow' opens the hostilities, a blistering hymn to high stakes, heavy distortion with a ferocious death metal edge. The official video, filmed entirely in black and white, intersperses the band’s brutal stage shows with grainy footage of the tanks, bomber aircraft and heavy artillery deployed during World War II to spread destruction. Moving on to the next track, 'Devilry', Dominator’s thorny blast beats come to the fore, tearing up the ground like the devil’s hordes as the guitars screech alongside. 'The Idea of One-ness' begins with mystical notes that tinkle like wind chimes, before being savagely ripped apart by a cascade of shattering riffs, while 'Black Lights from the Void', with its striking doom knells calls to mind the abhorrent cosmic creatures from Lovecraft’s demon-verse.
Unafraid to put their fingers firmly on the trigger, Nordjevel are not for the snowflake generation - their intention is to cause a reaction. 'Amen Whores' is all overblown, shock-tactic black metal theatrics, the official video chockful of the usual dusky black metal motifs; the weird rituals, pagan sacrifice and Satanism, featuring the delightful little tale of a woman getting raped by a half-man, half-boar monster, giving birth to a pig - and later murdering her own bestial offspring, bloody umbilical cord still attached. Deliberately antagonistic and up-in-your-face, subversively blending violence with misogyny, the track positively invites offence - but as with the charismatic charm of the devil himself, you can’t help but be seduced thanks to the addictive, raging cacophony of frenzied plucked strings and rippling tremolo.
While 'Amen Whores' is the catchiest of the lot, the later tracks showcase these old pros’ undoubted technical genius. 'The Fevered Lands' takes the trebly guitar tones to even more daring, headache-inducing heights, 'Nazarene Necrophilia' provides the band ample opportunity to stamp all over religion with riffs as heavy as steel-capped boots, and 'Apokalupsis Eschation' builds up ominous dread with panicked, feverishly extended chords and howling vocals that rise like a swarm of black crows over a battlefield of the butchered. Final track 'Panzerengel' kicks off with the crack of a mighty cannon, and hearkens in tone and pace to the earlier 'Amen Whores', its thudding deliberate notes flinging the listener back into a similar convulsive turmoil.
With their latest slice of desperate depravity, Nordjevel advocate that nothing is sacred - least of all the customary styles and techniques of their chosen genre. Splicing black metal with the terrifying, lurching speeds and aggressive, shredding style usually deployed in thrash and combining it with the most distressing imagery of conflict and slaughter, these mutant miscreants are determined to shock us out of our comfort zone - by whatever means necessary.