Necromantia - _Scarlet Evil, Witching Black_
(Osmose Prod., 1995)
by: Henry Akeley (8 out of 10)
Although it's cursed with a cover that exudes the aroma of some pretty stale death metal cheese, Necromantia's second full-length effort is actually an imaginative and haunting foray into much blacker and more esoteric musical territory. In fact, this band's unique sound, which their bio describes as "occult soundtrack music," is a lot richer and more inventive than are the vast majority of established black metal acts. Every song contains numerous fluid shifts of tempo and mood, covering the range from blasting and chaotic to slow and sorrowful. Synthesizers are used heavily throughout, but always tastefully and to eerie effect. What really sets this CD apart, though, is Necromantia's willingness to experiment with instruments that most black metal outfits would never go anywhere near. The brilliant "Arcane Light of Hecate", for example, makes entrancing use of twin saxophones woven into a flickering soundscape painted with synth and tympanic percussion. And in place of rhythm guitar, Baron Blood saws away at a heavily distorted 8-string bass, which gives the music a thick, crusty vibe totally unlike the typical black metal sound. Magus Wampyr Daoloth's vocals have the standard scratchiness, but carry a distinctively sinister tone all the same. Most black metal bands have used up all their tricks by the end of their opening track. Not Necromantia. This album is packed with unique and interesting musical passages, and it's highly recommended to anyone who likes their metal not just dark but daring as well.

(article published 10/5/1996)


ALBUMS
2/25/2008 J Smit 4 Necromantia - The Sound of Lucifer Storming Heaven
3/16/1997 S Hoeltzel 6 Necromantia - Ancient Pride
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