Necrosemen- Vglns

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, November 15, 2015

Originally formed as a one man project in 2012, Swiss black/death metal band Necrosemen has since expanded to a full lineup. With this new lineup in place, the group has released a new EP titled Vglns, and while the structure of the songwriting has remained similar to debut And All Shall Be Smitten by Fyre there has been a noticeable shift in production towards a fuller sound that allows the instrumentals to hit with the same density yet allow each element to be distinguishable. The resulting effort is both crushing and razor sharp, and while it may fly by in 20 minutes Necrosemen provides substance behind their onslaught that makes them a band worthy of your attention.

Like some of the others out there, this group falls somewhere smack dab in the middle of the black and death metal spectrum. Depending on which of the four songs you’re listening to, a particular riff might have that lumbering, dense sound that skews closer to the death metal side or chaotic blasting that is closer to black metal in its tonality. But no matter where Necrosemen heads stylistically, they ensure that the guitar leads and blasting drums are razor sharp and do their best to bludgeon the listener into submission and leave behind nothing but scorched earth in their wake. This is the biggest difference between the group’s previous EP and VgIns, as the production has expanded outwards and given all of the instruments a bit more space than before. But that’s not to say that the material has lost any of its edge in the process, as the clarity between the different elements at play allows the band to utilize them effectively and create a soundscape that hits hard but offers distinguishable elements from one song to the next. The natural ebbs and flows between the different blasts work perfectly, and underneath the chaotic and dark aesthetic that is typical for this style of metal lies some riffs with staying power. Admittedly there does remain some room for further expansion, and with a few songs following some similar patterns I am curious as to how Necrosemen could branch out a bit for a full length, but for a release of this length there is enough subtle variations to maintain your attention.

Band creator Ishk previously handled all of the instrumentals and vocals, but with Necrosemen becoming a full band he has switched over to just doing vocals on VgIns. The way that the EP has recorded puts his lower pitched screams right near the front of the recording, and they hang over the instrumentation with a commanding presence. For the majority of the EP his vocals stick at a lower range, utilizing a lower scream/growl that reminded me of Teitanblood and some of the other black/death metal entities that are able to maintain an aggressive vocal presence for their entire recordings. Occasionally Ishk heads into some slightly cleaner territory with some chants and other pitches that add to the ritualistic feel of the material. It’s the type of performance that is well suited to the destructive and unrelenting sound Necrosemen is going for, and it’s great to see the vocals amplified even further on this release.

VgIns finds this group taking some steps forward with improved production values and riffs that are chaotic and powerful while remaining distinguishable from one song to the next. Necrosemen still has some room to branch out a little bit further and prove that they can avoid falling into patterns that are too similar on a longer effort, but for now they’ve delivered a heavy hitting EP that will appeal to anyone with an interest in this unrelenting and dense variant of the black and death metal spectrums. Since its release the group has become a two piece, with three of the members who played on this release heading elsewhere, but if the remaining duo can continue the momentum generated by VgIns there is still plenty to look forward to.

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