Season Of Mist sees blackened death metal purveyors Necrowretch make their nearly four-year return with the mighty “Swords Of Dajjal”.
Formed in 2008 & starting with a more focused death metal sound, France-based Necrowretch has slowly evolved over the years. Refining their sound over multiple albums, but 2007’s “Satanic Slavery” really pushed their more barbaric bestial sound & pushed more black metal elements within their sound.
The group’s last album 2020’s “The Ones from Hell” was unfortunately snubbed by the global pandemic. So the band took three years to harness new material. Band leader Vlad says “We spent no less than three years working on the songs, demoing them and fine-tuning the details and rehearsing them as a three-piece. Before that, we used to be a pure product of the underground, with albums done in just a couple of days that were never 100% satisfied with in the end as we had to rush everything.”
Now taking a longer process to create their fifth studio album “Swords Of Dajjal” feels like the group’s most seminal work to date.
From the get-go “Ksar Al-Kufar” the opening track sets the standard for the album. The sparkly but dangerous lone-opening guitar riff helps build the band’s presence. Then suddenly the band forces their unbridled sound upon you.
The production of this album sounds phenomenal. Some may prefer a raw album but for me sometimes a band’s sound is so far & expansive that it needs a clearer production to give it that backbone it needs. With recording at Studio Sainte Marthe, Paris Mixing & Mastering, and Engineer by Francis Caste, this album has a fierce but clear-cut sound that can pierce the listener & invoke a real emotional response.
Opening with some of the most vile & wretched vocals “Dii Mauri” is like a satanic lullaby. Vocalist & guitarist Vlad’s performance is perfectly balanced. Cutting through the harsh guitars & leaving a lasting impression. This track is a nice blend of the power from say Dissection but the beautiful washing waves of melody Inquisition bring.
This track has fantastic peaks & valleys. Even with passages of constant blasting from drummer N. Destroyer, the band can use the power of his performance laced with a perfect guitar & bass tone to create a sound that washes over the listener, like beautiful but dangerous tidal waves of blacked death.
The album’s title track “Swords of Dajjal” feels like a nice turn-up of the dial. This track has that more beastial feel. A strong heavy metal sound cloaked in that war-torn sound that comes with the more blackened feel.
Epic in its nature with soaring & stunning guitar solos by W. Cadaver this track truly feels like it lives to its title track mantle. The whole track is stunning but the second half blew me away.
The album’s closing track “Total Obliteration” is a true over six-minute sonic warfare. It feels like the album has been building nicely to this moment. For me, it’s my favourite on the track. Feeling like the group’s most primal track on the album it’s a stake through the heart & having your throat torn out.
As the track builds to this brutal “breakdown” section that took me by surprise before W. Cadaver again rips another fantastic solo over the bridge of the track. The group bands together soon after to give it one more blast & it feels like the group is going too hard the wheels are going to come off but luckily they are tight enough that they hold it together so well.
In its last few moments, the band brings back the soulful clean melodic elements that have a perfectly Eastern feel that has been woven in subtle ways through the rest of the album but let rip in its last few minutes.
“Swords Of Dajjal” isn’t just Necrowretch’s best album to date but it feels like a perfectly crafted blackened death metal record that others should take note of. The perfectly written track doesn’t overstay their welcome. The solo lead seconds amplify the already superb music & production that allows the band to deliver a punishing but exquisite sound overall.
Review: Guy Williams
Swords of Dajjal is out via Season of Mist on 2nd February 2024
1. Ksar Al-Kufar 4:22 2. The Fifth Door 5:30
3. Dii Mauri 5:07
4. Swords of Dajjal 4:56
5. Numidian Knowledge 4:12
6. Vae Victis 4:18
7. Daeva 2:49
8. Total Obliteration 6:13
Vlad Vocals, Guitars
W. Cadaver Lead Guitars
R. Cadaver (Live) Bass
N. Destroyer Drums