NECROMANTIA - The Sound of Lucifer Storming Heaven (DOCKYARD 1 Records - CD 2007)
Necromantia is a band, which I think every black metal maniac must know and worship. Yes, you must, because this is one of the most unique, characteristic and genius bands that the scene has ever spawned. I always liked them more than all other Greek devil worshippers and even if the Scandinavian scene is my favourite, then this one band is also in my top favourites list. I truly worship all their early recordings, finishing off with the brilliant “IV: Malice”… Sadly, after this album I lost Necromantia from the sight for few years, so I have never been able to hear the stuff they released in the 2000’s. But finally I managed to get “The Sound of Lucifer Storming Heaven” album – not on vinyl, which I would love to have, as I collected all early Necromantia stuff on LP – but on CD, but it’s better this way than nothing. I had huge expectations towards this album and so, did Necromantia meet them? Well, not entirely.
But let’s clear all things out. I am not saying that “The Sound of Lucifer Storming Heaven” is bad album. No fuckin way! It is still damn cool, classic Necromantia stuff! One can recognize the band’s style from the first minute; style, which is so characteristic, so unique and also so influential and possessing. They always had their own style and sound; using two distorted bass guitars (one of which is 8 string bass!), instead of the typical guitars must force a special way of playing, special arrangements and finally also a special, exceptional sound. This way of playing was crafted already in the band’s early demos and then only perfected through the years. On “The Sound of Lucifer Storming Heaven” Necromantia still sounds like the same band, but obviously they have progressed a lot and on this album their music is first and foremost way more symphonic than in the old days. The classical, symphonic music must have influenced the band in a great way, so “The Sound of Lucifer Storming Heaven” is filled with orchestral keyboards, some quotes from the classical music (already in the opening, title, track you can hear one)… The song structures and arrangements are closer to the classical music than to black metal… a lot is going on in every song, the music is not as simple and it may not even be an easy listen, it does require few listening sessions if you want to comprehend everything and get devoured by these sounds... but in the end it all works. Maybe not with the best results in Necromantia history, but surely they didn’t go below the high level of quality, which was raised high already in the early 90’s.
I guess that the style of nowadays Necromantia can bring two reactions: first is the enjoyment, as the band really creates some brilliant and amazing songs. But two, would be that the style deprived Necromantia of that evil, occult and truly damn dark atmosphere, which was present on their early albums. Surely, the band still base the whole concept on the occultism, alchemy, Satanism and such, but if you listen to the early LPs such as “Scarlet Evil Witching Black” you just feel HIS presence, the atmosphere of this record is just possessing… “The Sound of Lucifer Storming Heaven” may not have that… It doesn’t mean it is a bad album, it is just slightly different. There is a collection of great songs, starting with the very classic Greek black metal anthem “Order of the Black Sphinx” and later going through some more excellent and memorable songs, of which I especially like such “For the Elder Magi: I - Eibon the Necromancer”, which also the fans of such Septic Flesh will like totally. Or listen to the genius of “Knights of the Black and White Eagle”! There is a lot going on in every track; orchestral parts have been mixed with some furious black metal, all played in the Necromantical way… keyboards are playing a huge role in the music and fill up the entire atmosphere in great way. Finally the vocals are mainly a typical shriek of the Magus Wampyr Daoloth (I do admit that on this LP not always they sound that good…), but here and there it is mixed with more choral, clean singing to underline the epic side of the music. All in all, Necromantia once more has provided us with a good album, which is so different to the majority of stuff, which is released nowadays. I cannot say that it is my favourite album of the band, it has many ups, but also some downs, but generally I think it truly is good effort. Such songs as ‘Knights of the Black and White Eagle” and “Les Litanies de Satan - Act II: From Hell “ are prove for Necromantia genius.
Praise to the mighty Eibon!
Standout tracks: “For the Elder Magi: I - Eibon the Necromancer”, “Knights of the Black and White Eagle”, “Les Litanies de Satan - Act II: From Hell”
Final rate: 70/100