Review: Ritual Necromancy – Disinterred Horror

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Label: Dark Descent Records

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Disinterred Horror sounds exactly like you’d except and hope an album with artwork like this would. The second album from Ritual Necromancy is a bludgeoning, other-worldly piece of death metal that sits within the current black/death zeitgeist – with Incantation and Portal comparisons being warranted and deserved – whilst also sounding unconstrained by any restrictions of genre or style. This is extreme metal of dimensional horrors and light-devouring darkness; of the dead rising from their graves to tear down the living; of the end of everything, all set to a soundtrack of mind-melting metal.

It’s been a long time since Ritual Necromancy’s last releases – 4 years since their previous EP, and 7 since their debut full-length. Whilst those releases were undeniably good, they didn’t hit half as hard as Disinterred Horror does. The production is beefed up considerably, and though there’s been no vast evolution in their death metal onslaught, the time spent away has evidently been used to tighten up the songwriting, ensuring that the riffs are as strong as possible. They conjure up that labyrinthine horror that the likes of Onward to Golgotha did so long ago, with a very real feeling of violence (both physical and spiritual) being imminent throughout – there are even a few sections, such as the ending of ‘Command the Sigil’, where the barbarism isn’t far removed from war metal.

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It’s this sense of violence and danger that helps set Disinterred Horror apart. There are a lot of bands around now that play this style of black/death metal, and a lot of them do it rather well; but few of them do so with the same sense of conviction and brutality that Ritual Necromancy bring to the fore. Even the slower songs – such as ‘Discarnate Machination’ – feel like their lumbering riffs are the slow stalk of a predator, content to take its time tracking down its prey. In addition to this, there is also the sense throughout that – like their label-mates Blood Incantation and Spectral Voice – Ritual Necromancy are tapping into something from beyond with their music, as if this were death metal as interpreted by beings not of this world. For all its physical danger, it is this sense of otherness, and the strangeness it brings, that makes Disinterred Horror truly impressive.

It may be argued that Disinterred Horror is not the most original of death metal albums; and there is some validity to this, given how many other bands are currently playing this style of music. And yet whilst many of them may aim to conjure similar atmospheres and reactions, few do so with the conviction and success of Ritual Necromancy. Disinterred Horror is a marked improvement over previous albums, and a highlight for death metal in 2018.

Disinterred Horror is available on CD, tape, and vinyl via the Dark Descent Records webstore and digitally via Bandcamp.

 

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