As you can read in my review for Necroheresy’s debut Divine Betrayal (published on June 16th 2015), I was very pleased by the intensity and craftsmanship of this Slovakian band. Those actual and former members of e.g. Karpathia, Silva Nigra, Evil Dead and Aeon Winds did convince me, so I was impatiently waiting for some new material. It took a while, but here they are, once again, with their first full length.
Asylum gets released in an edition of 500 copies via Symbol Of Domination Productions, a fast-growing sub-division of Satanath Records, the label that did release the Divine Betrayal EP at the very end of 2014. This time, it gets co-released by two other Russian labels, Wings Of Destruction and Darknagar Records, both of them labels that did co-operate with Satanath Records before. The album lasts for half an hour, and the lyrical side, once again, is written and sung (or better: spawned, growled, grunted, screamed, whatever) in the band’s mother tongue. The eight-page booklet does not include any translation of the lyrical concept, but the titles have been translated at the back cover, so it might give a hint of the band’s poetry…
Asylum starts with a horrific introduction, with Gregorian chants, a praying priest, church bells, a weeping baby, ominous soundwaves etc. – indeed, it surely sets the tone for a lot more to come, and you might guess what’s next to experience: morbidity and disgust, evilness and horror! In nominee patris, dear reader… But then, suddenly Silence Before The Storm is like the storm after silence, breaking lose in a mostly devastating way. This track, and so do the other ones, go on, and further, where the former release did end. This is an old schooled assault that has not necessarily the intention to take prisoners. Merciless, violent and remorseless, they’ll torture, disfigure and rape those victims.
Yet to my opinion, Asylum goes further than Divine Betrayal, and this for several reasons. There’s the variety, for example. The quintet is taken their influences from a wider source, from much more angles of nastiness and hatred. You still got some punky elements (like in Consecration), thrashing ones (hello Silence Before The Storm, or the deadly piece Blind Monk), purely Death-oriented excerpts (listen to the bulldozering storm-raid Portent or the thrashing whirlwind assault Mortal Addiction), or rather Doom-laden compositions (a selection of excerpts out of Four Rooms Of Sanatorium, for example, is like a monument within this direction, though this track coming with elements from the most nasty opposite too); but it’s somewhat ‘wider’, more open-minded and universal than before. The sound too did progress, for the final mix is simply adorable. What a wall of noise, what a monumental eardrum-attack! And it does focus on all ingredients, no matter whether we’re listening to the lead instruments or the rhythmic parts. In another way, this stuff is heavier than before, yet fading further away from the Death Metal approach from 2014’s EP. It’s more like a crossover, an evolution, a symbiosis of Crust, Death, Black and Thrash Metal, Punk and Groove, all rooted in an old school jacket.
Oh yes, I cannot but mention this; I just have to, for Bathory is the reason why I am into Extreme Underground Metal: Satan My Master… You know, the original is (almost) always better, but Necroheresy’s version of this KKKult trakkk is oh so attractive.