Divinity Of Death
The new kids on every block keep the Thrash Metal resurgence strongly going on – and this time it’s this relentless Norwegian trio under the NEKROMANTHEON moniker that wants to spend some time in this very same limelight for the name of furious and hellish sounding blackened Thrash Metal. So, what can these Norwegians offer us on their own plate as a main course then, is supposedly the first logical question? Well, let’s take a fair bite out of it, and taste it. Hmmm… tastes good – and actually pretty fuckin’ darn good as a matter of speaking. The aftertaste tells, there’s lotsa WHIPLASH’s "Power And Pain" album here, sticking out as a main musical comparison to the content of "Divinity Of Death" – some early SLAYER ("Show… / Hell…" – era) – some VENOM (mainly the vocals of Arild M Torp), some early KREATOR as well as some POSSESSED ("Seven Churches" – era in particular) – and perhaps even some other familiar band names may come to haunt in my mind later on, the more I digest this with a great curiosity. What comes certain right away, the guys have spent quite a lot of time listening somewhat carefully to their 80s Thrash Metal records – and then mutated some of the most important ones for them personally into their own frenzied and violent Thrash assaults the best they possibly can. The opening track, ‘Gringo Death’, owes certainly an honest nod to a SLAYER song ‘Hell Awaits” direction, whereas ‘Cry Havoc’ – with its mercilessly slashing guitar attacks, reminds of early WHIPLASH as its most killing spree back in the 80s. Then again, a short instrumental song, ‘Lex Talionis’ does a significant job to bring such names as POSSESSED, DEATH ANGEL and WHIPLASH at their prime, to our minds – and there’s a plenty of early POSSESSED’s influence in ‘Further Beyond’ that simply reeks miles away to get noticed. One cannot be left completely unnoticed either how much a song like ‘Psyonide’ owes to early KREATOR; how the guitars synchronize with the drum parts almost the same way like how it happened in a KREATOR’s song ‘Awakening Of The Gods’ back in 1986 (start listening from the 1:30 minute mark). In short, one can pretty much know what to expect a record like this. NEKROMANTHEON have nailed down very well how the 80s Thrash Metal sounded back in the day – and even if we talk about a retro-sounding Thrash act in this case here, I think NEKROMANTHEON deserve your attention. They are honestly some of the best retro-Thrash Metal bands out there these days. Like the word retro or not, but NEKROMANTHEON do deliver nonetheless. More info at www.myspace.com/nekromantheon, www.duplicate-records.com
Divinity Of Death
(High Roller Records)
The first couple of seconds of the starter ‘Gringo Death’ on the first full-length of those Norwegian Thrashers NEKROMANTHEON made me think on the first seconds of METALLICA’s ‘Hit The Lights’ until the riffing right in the same mood as SLAYER’s ‘Hell Awaits’ starts. Not as long as the intro of this song, still comparable and that goes for the whole A-side of this vinyl. It’s SLAYER influenced Thrash Metal from the beginning to its end. To be more precise it’s influenced by SLAYER’s “Show No Mercy” and “Hell Awaits” mostly and that works just fine for me. Though mostly SLAYER influenced I hear many other Thrash influences from the likes of DARK ANGEL, old (really old) SEPULTURA, WHIPLASH (just listen to the leading riff in ‘Alcoholy Terror’ – am I hearing hints of ‘The Burning Of Atlanta’???) and even some Bay Area influences (SACRED REICH among others) (uhm… SACRED REICH are from Phoenix, Arizona, Mr. Ehrmann – Frank) which pop up on the songs on side B. Still the main influence seems to me old SLAYER. Each influence is handled with class and therefore I must say that High-Roller-Records once again proved their knowledge in offering high quality old fashioned Metal. Here on this vinyl it’s once again not important to be original or groundbreaking; everything what counts is the quality of the included 11 songs. And I’m not surprised that NEKROMANTHEON are another outfit in the High-Roller-Records roster to convince me par excellence. There are few things left to improve; still this first album is a great “business card” for a great Thrash Metal newcomer. If this doesn’t convince you I might promote an old fashioned Thrash Metal band from Norway. Perhaps this is original, haha. As almost usual for HHO-Records this release offers a great looking gatefold cover and is limited to 500 copies whereof 150 copies are in green / black splatter vinyl and the remaining 350 copies come in usual black vinyl. I’m not informed if a CD release is planned from another label. Therefore better check out www.hho-records.de and www.myspace.com/nekromantheon.