AKRAL NECROSIS - Underlight
Loud Rage Music
Hailing (literally) from Romania it's AKRAL NECROSIS who are certainly not newcomers to the whole Euro black metal scene. The band has been around for a decade, put out a couple of small format releases early in their career. Then in 2012 they released their debut full length, Pandemic Dominion, which obviously got them some acclaim as well as recording this their second album and getting signed by Loud Rage to boot.
AKRAL NECROSIS's sound and style is like harsh Swedish black metal meets Eastern European pagan and folk. It took me a while to get into this or better yet, not to be jaded quickly. I do have that tendency especially when it comes to black metal. So I'm listening to the first cut "Separator" and I'm thinking ok I know what territory this is leading into, pure tremolo picked thrashy black metal. As the album continued things started to change and by the fourth cut "Exhortatio ad Bellum" I was like alright this review is gonna take a while.
After taking a step back and checking out the band's first album I can see, actually hear, that AKRAL NECROSIS has taken some of that harsh speedy blackened vibe and blended it with melody and elements of traditional metal. You know you can honestly hear the bass player on here, surprised the fuck out of me. There's also some clean guitar soloing which is starting to become a new staple of Eastern European black metal. The tortured vocals are slightly too up front in the mix for me but they're well placed.
I think one of the coolest parts to this album is how well the song structures are done. They're not just repeating tremolo blast riffs. Listen to "Purge", the longest song on the release at seven plus minutes, and you hear an intricate song switch to sludge riffage. I believe the bottom line here is that AKRAL NECROSIS have created an actual original sounding black metal release. I'm sure some hipster scribe will protest by saying "well the French were innovating in this before". No they weren't you putz. These Romanians have created something very unique and I'm glad to hear it.