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The Necromancers - Of Blood and Wine

Label: Ripple Music
Format: Download
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 9/10


Profound, blood-soaked excellence.
The Necromancers’ “Servants of the Salem Girl” was this reviewer’s choice for best new album of 2017*, and their 2018 release, “Of Blood and Wine,” is a worthy sequel. It follows hot on the heels of their first, but still manages to do everything a sophomore record should after a breakout debut. “OBaW” expands their sound and introduces new weapons in their arsenal, while staying faithful and familiar to what made the predecessor so great. The songwriting on this record is more mature, more patient, more exploratory, and more complex. As a band, they’ve levelled up.

 

Some perspective: as stellar as “Of Blood and Wine” is, it isn’t quite the gatecrasher that “Salem Girl” was. The first song, “Join the Living Dead,” isn’t bad, but it gets off to an awkward start, and only has a few memorable moments. “Erzebeth” at track 2 - - now that’s more like it. It’s one of 2 epic-length tracks on the record, with different movements contained within, but each stage of the journey is rewarding in its own way. Tom Corniere’s heavy French accent on the English spoken word part delivers the perfect level of menacing, trancelike spookiness. Overall, his voice modulates from powerful motor engine rumble to mesmeric clean. His vocals are a big part of The Necromancers’ appeal.
The title track and “Lust” also need to be called out as superb. The former for its hallucinatory, pitchy vocals over a lovely and expansive undistorted guitar and bass line, the latter for its wavering, sometimes-unsettling groove, replete with gorgeous tremolo swoops. While we’re at it: the lead single, “Secular Lord,” is also a pretty great addition to The Necromancers’ young, burgeoning catalog of excellent music.
Their sound has diversified a bit, but their core is still a strong cup of Doom blended with NWOBHM. The Necromancers do groove and Sabbathy evil better than just about any other bands of their generation. These guys are a new favorite.


*”Servants of the Salem Girl” was number 2 overall on my list for 2017, behind Kai Hansen’s live “Thank You Wacken.”

 
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