More death metal, because why not. Except this time unlike Dechristianize this is a new album, and you’ve been sleeping on it. Let’s get slammin’ with the most 80’s Satanic panic D&D sounding band of 2018, Ritual Necromancy. These fine folks are a doomy, gloomy, buried in a tomby death band who have signed to the excellent Dark Descent Records (seriously, their lineup is nothing to scoff at), and have just put out their second full length. Unfortunately I haven’t heard their first album Oath of the Abyss, but the general consensus across the web is that Disinterred Horror is superior in every way so I’m happy living out my life without making that album a priority. First off, so we’re all on the same page (and totally not because I don’t know words very well), disinterred is defined as:
dis·in·ter/ˌdisənˈtər/verbpast tense: disinterred; past participle: disinterreddig up (something that has been buried, especially a corpse).synonyms: exhume, unearth, disentomb
So considering that those synonyms are all names of other metal bands, calling your album Disinterred Horror is fuckin’ primo in my books. Let’s hope the music holds up to the arbitrary expectations I’ve built up in my head because of the title.
Similar to Vital Remains’ breakthrough album, I had reservations when I looked at the track listing. With three songs clocking in at seven plus minutes, one at almost eleven, and a tiny little diddy that clocks in at just under five minutes, I was a little hesitant about this album. However, similar to Vital Remains’ magnum opus, the long songs don’t quite pose a problem on Disinterred Horror. While the length is brought on mostly by the almost funeral doom paced sections, there’s enough quick double kick work, bast beats, and tremolo riffage to keep things interesting, even in the eleven minute penultimate track. Seriously, when this album goes slow, it goes slow. But riffs twist and turn and sections slowly morph in to each other seamlessly enough that the music never drags on, despite being the aural embodiment of stagnant air in a crypt.
I really can’t stress just how graveyard-spooky this album is. The unbelievably low vocals are a nauseating (in a good, death metal kind of way) hybrid between Dying Fetus’ twin vocalists. Think John Gallagher’s even-lower-pitched-than-the-kick-drum gutturals with Sean Beasley’s grit and high end sprinkled on top. Drench that bad boy in cavernous reverb and damn do you have some ghastly sounding vocals that sound like they’re an ancient evil avatar of death spilling from a recently uncovered sepulcher. Pair it with the old school, Incantation-esque guitar, bass, and drums, and you’ve got something truly heavy sounding. To add to the overall atmosphere, you’ve got a decently grainy guitar tone that blends with the low end of the bass underneath, all supported by cannon-like drums. This album is seriously dense sounding, especially in the faster sections, and I have to commend the thick, beefy kick drum sound that they got to sit so well in this necrotic molasses. No new school tech-death brickwalled kick drums that only have the high end attack making a grating click noise here. Disinterred Horror’s kick drum sounds positively bludgeoning.
Ritual Necromancy also add in some layers to their music to give it an atmospheric edge, no matter how grinding the riffs and blasts get. Some stereo panned, spacey lead lines and layered vocals fill in the spaces during the more monolithic segments, and add a heightened feeling of chaos to the quicker bits. The constantly mentioned eleven minute behemoth Cybellum Eosphorous breaks down about midway through to bombard you with the unnerving wailing of escaping spirits who have not found peace. Seriously, I can’t tell if it’s vocals, guitars, or both, but about halfway through this tune what sounds like the Fayth from Final Fantasy X start moaning across your headphones. It seriously took me by surprise the first time I heard it, but unfortunately on multiple listens, some of the spooky ambient guitar work over top of the songs sounds exactly the same as the spooktacular spirit section of Cybellum Eosphorous.
This album definitely benefits from its sub 40 minute run time because while it doesn’t overstay its welcome here, if it were even 10 minutes longer (which would realistically only be one more song) I think I would get sick of it. Disinterred Horror, while when at its best is really good but by the time the closing title track wraps up I’m happy to say my ear-stomachs are satiated on their meals of maggot infested music, and I’m craving no more. I think the one-note vocals are the real bottleneck for me. Usual death metal has a bad rap for being unintelligible, but Ritual Necromancy bring vocals so deep and throat shredding that sometimes I can’t even make out the syllables. I feel like most of the time this might as well be an instrumental album, and while it’s got some slammin’ riffs and some musical variation, I honestly can never remember anything from the album as soon as it finishes. It’s got style and atmosphere in spades, but I feel like a little growing and a little more flexing off their songwriting chops will do Ritual Necromancy some real good in the future.