Nekrokraft – “Servants” (The Sign Records)
Awesome melodic black / thrash from Sweden! Now onto their sophomore comes Nekrokraft, who take inspiration from Bathory, Slayer and Immortal. Clearly not lacking in their furore as judged by the powering delivery of the 9 intense tracks here, what impresses most about Nekrokraft is that alongside their slashing riffs and bombastic rhythm are the huge and bountiful melodies that bring forth epic grandeur on more than one occasion, along with subtle if no less effective backing keyboards which equally lend to a symphonic aspect in quite a few places. Ambitiously mixing Babylonian mythology and Scandinavian folklore in their concept, I’m highly pleased that the music is on par in every regard as the songs are all excellently composed, deep with plenty of quality meat, superbly arranged to keep the attention of the listener from start to finish, and topped off by a loud but clear mix! From the rich decadent riffing to ‘Plague’ the tantalising and captivating melodies dance off exquisitely, accompanied by a ferocious rhythm and the dark drawls from the aptly named Angst while on ‘Dance Ov The Nekrolythes’ the intensity is even more through whirring riffola and brilliantly offset by the subtle keyboard melodies backed by chorus choirs that aside from the momentary quiet interlude set the heart racing right up until the final beat. Thankfully slowing it down on ‘Eternal, I Am’ the gothic keyboards become more prominent in leading the melodic assault that comes together along with the guitars during the chorus while the drums crash and smash all around to blinding effect. Nekrokraft’s ability to brutalise is no better encapsulated than on ‘Brimstone And Flames’ with its huge riffs colliding with matching drums and of course, those ever present majestic melodies richly exuded from the guitars, vocals and choirs. An utterly awesome release in every aspect!