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Blood Offerings

Tankcrimes / Sentient Ruin Laboratories (2017)
Rating: 7/10

Blood Offerings is the debut album from Californian death metallers Necrot; the sort of unkempt no frills band who since their inception in 2011 have treated us to a trio of impressive demos.

Formed out of Oakland, these guys have been plying their trade by way of bringing back that strong, old school feel. Hints of the Floridian and Swedish scene taint this eight-track affair, while the likes of Morgoth can also be referenced with what is a standard but entertaining production.

Blood Offerings is a slick, yet not polished death metal offering that may have gotten lost had it been released a few decades ago. But with the scene experiencing a bit of a rebirth it’s nice to hear a charging, albeit no frills act of belligerence. What we have here is a solid, chugging, fast-paced record reminding one of Dismember, although less cutting.

For me, Blood Offerings has a well-rounded production, enabling the robust musicianship to benefit; namely the weighty guitar expressions of Sonny Reinhardt and Luca Indrio (the latter also providing bass and lead vocals on the album), which work well with Chad Gailey’s drums. Gailey also works with another new old school death metal act in the form of Rude, and fans of those guys will find similar pleasures in Necrot.

The trio is clearly comfortable with this style of metal. The vocals are rather typical of that early 90s scene, and there’s a hint of the macabre in some of the slower passages which worm their way through the likes of ‘Rather Be Dead’, which showcases some excellent groove-based drudgery. Meanwhile, other cuts such as opener ‘The Blade’ and ‘Shadows And Light’ have their emphasis on speedy outbursts combined with those recognisable mid-tempo pulverisations.

It’s because of this marrying that the album is so infectious and accessible. Indeed, the maturity displayed by the trio could easily suggest to the fan that this was some early 90s lump that didn’t quite make the grade. But in today’s climate it’s a worthy nod to the days of yore, expressed within a tidy batch of songs which sprint like an armoured cheetah. This is especially evident in the guise of the killer title track with its siren-like wailing solos which echo through the tight, rumbling percussive and bass waves. Meanwhile, ‘Empty Hands’ brings a devastating opening melody and thudding drum before grinding along with that added dose of pace.

‘Breathing Machine’ is equally destructive in its pace. Again, those distinctive rumbles are a successful fusing of beastly vocal barks and that gritty bass and guitar combination. Finally, album closer ‘Layers Of Darkness’ is five minutes of sneering arrogance, rounding off a very commanding performance from a band that is more than comfortable in its skin, but more than able to provide enough fusty feistiness to shake the bones. Yes, old school death metal rules.

Neil Arnold

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