Necronomicon- The Return of the Witch

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, June 21, 2010

Formed almost a decade ago, Canadian death metal band Necronomicon has been experimenting with different ideas on their albums. They started off with an Egyptian theme in 1999, moved on to a Native American/tribal theme in 2004 and now have returned to standard death metal on their third full length The Return of the Witch. These guys may have a solid base and some flashy solos, but without the earlier styles their music just doesn’t stand out.

Now don’t get me wrong, the instrumentalists are very competent players and are able to play some decent riffs and flashy solos. But the issue that pops up throughout The Return of the Witch is that the song structures are reminiscent of quite a few of the older American death metal bands and Necronomicon never does anything that makes them distinguishable from the rest. Combine this with the fact that the majority of the album relies on blast beats and there are only a few interludes to switch things up and you have a release that gets repetitive far too quickly. I can appreciate the band wanting to continue to change their sound and not repeat the same styles but the material on The Return of the Witch just doesn’t have anything to it that makes it distinguishable.

One of the better elements of Necronomicon’s music is vocalist Rob Tremblay as he has a deep growl that is distorted yet understandable. This is reminiscent of a number of different death metal singers, but he has enough of a range that listeners will be able to find him distinguishable. As you might be able to guess by the band’s name (which is based on the book that appears in H.P. Lovecraft stories, not the Evil Dead book) the lyrical content discusses a variety of different occult themes and this helps the group to stand out from quite a few of the other death metal groups out there.

Necronomicon certainly isn’t terrible and does have some decent ideas but by losing some of the instrumental hooks that made them stand out they have lessened the impact that their music will make. It is still interesting to see that the band has themes in their lyrics that aren’t run of the mill, but they will need to take a step back and look at how to create instrumentals that reinforce these themes and really make their material distinguishable from everyone else.

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