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Necronomicon - "Rise of the Elder Ones" (CD)

Necronomicon - "Rise of the Elder Ones" CD cover image

"Rise of the Elder Ones" track listing:

1. Resurrected
2. The End of Times
3. The Living God (Pharaoh of Gods Part II)
4. The Nuclear Chaos
5. From Beyond
6. Rise of the Elder Ones
7. The Valley of the Lost Souls
8. Celestial Being
9. Dark Corners of the Earth
10. The Fallen

Reviewed by on July 1, 2013

"Atmospheric side tangents aside, 'Rise of the Elder Ones' is essentially old-school death metal brought closer into the modern era, but without sacrificing those big booming blast beats or guttural growls."

Leaving Napalm Records after the 2010 album “The Return of the Witch,” the Canadian Necronomicon (not to be confused with the long-running German thrash act of the same name) is now with new label home Season of Mist to bring about the “Rise of the Elder Ones.” As would be expected by the title, “Rise of the Elder Ones” is filled with Lovecraftian Mythos mayhem, although the method of delivery may not be precisely what’s expected.

As a whole, Necronomicon’s latest outing is focused on a mid-paced and old-school death metal sound, in the sense that it’s continuously brutal, but not particularly technical, and has a very dirty edge. On the flip of that, the band then occasionally brings out incredibly clean strings and synths for atmosphere and a slight symphonic addition, which isn’t the usual combination. A comparison to Septicflesh isn’t wholly out of the question, but Necronomicon has much less symphonic material overall and doesn’t get as grandiose.

Although it’s not nearly as prominent as the other influences at play, the disc also features a smidge of blackening. The atmospheric and whisper-laden interlude “The Nuclear Chaos” definitely brings black metal to mind, and the title track also has a certain black metal aesthetic that can’t be denied. The backing synths on “Dark Corners of the Earth” might also create a temptation to compare Necronomicon to Dimmu Borgir, but it’s really more brutal and dirty than what you’d hear from the polished and epic symphonic black metal bands. A few other interesting twists also pop up by the time the last track ends, like the tasty traditional metal guitar licks on “From Beyond” or the Gothic interlude “Celestial Being.”

Atmospheric side tangents aside, “Rise of the Elder Ones” is essentially old-school death metal brought closer into the modern era, but without sacrificing those big booming blast beats or guttural growls. If you dig both the brutal death and the more symphonic black side, the album is worth checking out.

Highs: The brutality of old-school death metal without the repetition.

Lows: The overall plodding mid-pace and dirty sound quality won't work for everyone.

Bottom line: Brutal, old-school death metal gets an injection of the symphonic along with a black metal wrapping.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)