Nekromantheon – “The Visions of Trismegistos” (Indie Recordings worldwide / Hells Headbangers USA)
Battle Helm Rating
Unlike their fellow Norwegians, this power trio take it right back to the early 80s when the blur between Death, Black and Thrash Metal was less distinct and bands like Slayer, Possessed and Sodom were happy to wallow in as much aggression and speed as they could muster – without giving a toss what they were classified as! Nekromantheon take their name from the Greek for ‘oracle of the dead’ and definitely have a hardcore outlook to their music, being fastidious to their old school style with scarcely any regard for commerciality, preferring instead to bask in the glory of the underground. Little wonder then, that they hail from the same town as Darkthrone, where they built their very own “KickArse Studio”, named after drummer Christian ‘Kick’ Holm and guitarist Arild ‘Arse’ Myren Torp, to record their debut “Divinity Of Death” in 2010. With their popularity increasing thanks to shows as far away as the Maryland DeathFest in the US and the Live Evil Festival in London, sophomore “Rise, Vulcan Spectre” garnered them no less than a Grammy for Best Metal album in 2012. Now, after nine long years stirring the cauldron, comes their most ferocious release to date – “The Visions of Trismegistos”!!! Expectedly aggressive, what makes Nekromantheon so popular though, are their measured compositions, some of which are lengthier than their old school inspirations, along with a notable technical prowess that not just allows them to pull off the 8 songs here in authentic style completed by an analogue sound, but equally bring out the best from that era such that I would challenge some of the original purveyors to achieve the same today. With a line up completed by bassist / vocalist Sindre Solem, expect no mercy as monstrous power riffs abruptly slide and collide with smashing cymbals and drum rolls as the bestial vocal trip commences on ‘Faustian Rites’ while still allowing for dark melodies to add their evil touch along with agonised tremolo wails and diddly dee fretboard scalings a plenty – wow! With Possessed ringing in the ears of ‘Thanatos’ through roaring vocals and warbling melodies, Nekromantheon add their own exotic touch to the avalanche of drum rolls, pounding bass and speed track racing guitars giving birth to some tasty neo classical soloing as the smoke settles on this one. Ending this beast of a release in ‘Zealot Reign’, the Araya like roars rhyme perfectly with the fast jumping melodies backed by relentless drum work as the song races off to more exotic and melodic soloing in building to its screaming climax with no doubt, all the instruments on fire, just as it was in the good old days!