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Putrid Death Sorcery

Century Media (2013)
Rating: 8/10

Oh what a joyous name for a band! Clearly Necrowretch, who hail from the darkest corners of France, are not a band to be messed with. This deadly duo have been around since 2008, but Putrid Death Sorcery is their debut record.

Upon first listen of this album, featuring 11 tracks spanning just over 35 minutes, I was transported back to the late 80s and early-to-mid 90s black metal scene, particularly with the vicious yet obscure black metal-styled vocals and some of the vintage riffs, all being the work of some nice fellow called Vlad, who just so happens to share his hideous mindset with bassist Amphycion. The noise these two guys make is quite a stuffy one, as if it were recorded back in the 80s such is its endearing yet creaky quality.

Necrowretch have released a number of demos and EPs over the years, and I can see why they’ve been signed, because although their sound is nothing original it’s quite darkly authentic, shifting between rawer, primitive black thrash and also slower more deathly noise.

I have to admit that when I first saw the cover art for Putrid Death Sorcery I put my money on this being an Entombed rip-off, but I was way out with my assumptions, because although this is old school it has a more brash and embryonic feel to it, combining the screaming horror and grim depression of the Black Metal Inner Circle sound with all manner of older, thrashier bands, ranging from Possessed to Morbid Angel, alongside a cavern of even darker atmospherics.

Despite being quite often a pacey affair this is a riveting debut album that suggests a band far older than their years, clearly clued up on such histrionics and keen to belt out their nasty brand of deathly noise.

The assaults come in varying guises, including the rancid barks of the title track, with its manic drums which bring to mind Autopsy’s Chris Reifert, while the repugnant sneer of ‘Impious Plague In Catacombs’ is at once gothic yet vile, but also the album’s cleanest sounding track with those killer opening chords and skeletal drums.

Necrowretch are everything a blackened death thrash band should be – sinister, brooding and downright bile-filled, and for once here’s a bunch of leather-clad maniacs who live up to their album title. This album would be the perfect soundtrack for anyone who wishes to stand among the ruins on a foggy night and attempt to conjure the dark one.

Putrid Death Sorcery is a winner and a sinner from every angle, so grab your copy before the devil’s minions lap them all up.

Neil Arnold

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