Ten years ago, Necrowretch emerged with the revival of old school death metal. But these French sorcerers have always been branded with the mark of the beast. After pushing their death drive to the extreme on their first album for Season of Mist, the band are back and ready to release their biggest, boldest, most sophisticated and blackest album yet.
Black / Death Metal - France
Now entering their fifteenth year as a band, France’s NECROWRETCH are about to open the most ambitious chapter of their career with Swords Of Dajjal, their three-years-in-the-making fifth album.
Initially the sole work of multi-instrument and vision leader Vlad, the band was originally for better and for worse lumped in the ‘old school death metal revival’ of the early 10’s. Yet while their debut Putrid Death Sorcery did bear indeed all the usual suspects of said genre, it nevertheless already had that extra, raw-as-fuck and just plain vicious element that really set them apart from the rest of the pack. Conforming to the norm was never in question and instead of selling out or trying to slow things down, as true misfits as they are, the went the exact opposite direction, first with 2015’s With Serpents Scourge, only to be vigorously confirmed by its furious follow-up, and first for Season Of Mist, 2017’s Satanic Slavery. To the point where once the touring cycle was over for the latter, Vlad himself felt he had explored this direction as far as he could have and that changes were on the horizon.
“On Satanic Slavery we on purpose took things as far as we could as our goal was to deliver the most bestial album possible. But once we achieved that goal, I knew we had to take a slightly different if still as uncompromised direction.” Incidentally, that’s when Wenceslas Carrieu from CADAVERIC FUMES entered the picture, first as a momentary live session on bass. But when second stringer Kev Desecrator vowed to amicably part way with the band to focus on DESTRÖYER 666, he switched to six-strings and proved to be the valuable songwriting partner Vlad had been looking for since the departure of the band original bass player Amphycion in 2015. “He immediately came up with lots of ideas and thanks to him, we now have a whole new dynamic: a bit like Sepultura had back in the days in between Max Cavalera and Andreas Kisser, with me focusing now on my vocals and playing rhythm guitars while Wenceslas takes care of all the solos, the starting riffs and the off-the-map bits.
With their fourth album, and first with Wencelas, The Ones From Hell was only one month old, NECROWRETCH was about to tour Europe with both KAMPFAR and TAAKE for three weeks. A tour bus was booked, the set was well-rehearsed, everything was ready and then… disaster struck. “Six days before we were due to play our first show, the whole thing was cancelled. Then COVID hit us and the world was basically shut down. We were numb for a couple of days but soon realized that the best way to bounce back was to move forward so we instantly started working on new songs.” The result is Swords Of Dajjal by far, their biggest, boldest and most ambitious production ever.
“We spent no less than three years working on the songs, demoeing them and finetuning the details and rehearsing them as a three-piece and six weeks in the studio with Francis Caste (HANGMAN’S CHAIR, REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER, SVART CROWN etc.). Prior to that, we used to be a pure product of the underground, with albums done in just a couple of days whom were never 100% satisfied with in the end as we had to rush everything. We’re still very underground, mind you. But this time around, we knew we had to give it all, no matter what. So we started by changing our gear, our sound and our tuning. And once we entered the studio, we for instance spent a whole day just testing different amps just to get the right sound and crunch we were looking for. I even took some singing lessons to gain more depth and power. In a way, it almost feels like a whole new band.”
The whole record was written on purpose mostly on acoustic twelve-string guitars (“the idea was that if it sounds good and catchy that way, it’d be even better with distortion”) and as a three-piece, “something we hadn’t done in a long time” with their new drummer Nicolas Ferrero, not exactly a newcomer as he’s been playing on and off live with them since 2018. The result is, according to Vlad, “our most black metal record, with splashes of death metal here and there. Whereas on the previous album all tempos were pushed to the extreme, there’s far more variety here to be found. It also gave us free reins to reach a more mystical, Biblical if you will vibe” fed by his experience living in Turkey in the late 10’s. “We choose to focus on the Dajjal character, basically the antichrist in the Muslim religion. The Coran says that he’ll appear as a false prophet only to bring doom to this world, with an army of demons coming from the east.” Represented on the cover of the album with his double edged sword and bathed in the same kind of reddish and orangey mesmerizing lights one can experience when the sun sets on wind-beaten deserts, all eight songs on the album are prophecies, past and future, where Dajjal plays the leading role.
Now completed on bass by R. Cadaver (former CADAVERIC FUMES vocalist) who officially joined once the recording was done after playing as a live session member for the last two years, and armed with their biggest, most complex and intense album of their career, NECROWRETCH are about to yield their sword of destruction and exterminate everything in sight.
- Vlad : Vocals, Guitars
- W. Cadaver : Lead Guitars
- R. Cadaver (Live) : Bass
- N. Destroyer : Drums
|April 5th, 2024
|EVE - Scène Universitaire
|w/ Rotten + Nyx
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