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Nekromantheon - "Divinity Of Death" (CD)

Nekromantheon - "Divinity Of Death" CD cover image

"Divinity Of Death" track listing:

1. Gringo Death (4:13)
2. The Point Of No Return (2:53)
3. Cry Havoc (2:53)
4. Divinity Of Death (3:12)
5. Lex Talionis (:42)
6. Devolutionary Storms (3:15)
7. Tortured In Tartaros (1:49)
8. Further Beyond (2:12)
9. Acid Visions (1:34)
10. Psyanide (3:59)
11. Alcoholy Terror (2:35)

Reviewed by on February 20, 2011

"The album is a rush of adrenaline that could only be replicated by shotgunning a Monster energy drink while skiing down Mount Everest."

Norwegian trio Nekromantheon are submersed in the finer art of reckless thrash metal. This is not the goofy, fun-loving thrash that has been made popular by Gama Bomb and Municipal Waste; no party songs or alcohol-soaked fist pumping on “Divinity Of Death.” In under 30 minutes, Nekromantheon puts on a riveting display in a manner eerily familiar to fans of early Kreator and Destruction. Sufficient to say, the eleven tracks piss on the very idea of melody. The album is a rush of adrenaline that could only be replicated by shotgunning a Monster energy drink while skiing down Mount Everest.

Starting out with the unassuming “Gringo Death,” the thrash break a minute in is one for the ages. It’s a relentless onslaught that will keep chiropractors extra busy. The band doesn’t know the meaning of subtly, choosing to pound its aggressive message into the skull. The first part of the album is the most level-headed, with three-to-four minute songs that sound like they were conceived in a seedy, dimly-lit rehearsal space. A few slower tempos sneak in, though the intensity is never in short supply.

Once the noisy instrumental “Lex Talionis” passes through with the messiness of a Taco Bell beef burrito, the tender structure the other songs stayed on crumples. “Divinity Of Death” becomes an unconfined thrash monster with the jaw-dropping “Devolutionary Storms.” It’s hard to sit still after the blazing opening riff destroys the inner parts of a listener’s speakers. From that point, it’s full speed ahead for Nekromantheon. The songs get shorter and the solos are dive bombs of whammy bar.

It can become too much to handle at times, especially in separating songs. The riffs can blend and it isn’t until “Psyande” when the album become steadier. There is a patch of music in the middle that registers about a 9.6 on the insanity scale, when the entire band destroys its equipment and the barking vocals are grandstanding for the metal masses. While it’s an impressive section, it is also the source of the situation with differentiating between songs.

“Divinity Of Death” is a hell of a debut for Nekromantheon. There should be a label on every CD case that states, “Warning: Will Cause Excessive Headbanging.” Try to keep yourself from thrashing; it’s a feat that can’t be done. The lack of variety and the brevity of a few tracks is unfortunate, but the raw anger that courses through the album is an addictive substance. “Divinity Of Death” could have fit in with the record collection of a mid-80‘s rebellious teenager who bowed down to “Pleasure To Kill” and “Welcome To Hell.”

Highs: Insane thrash breaks, noisy solos, intense as all hell

Lows: Riffs blend together, lack of variety

Bottom line: A solid thrash metal debut featuring the type of aggression that will appeal to fans of early Kreator and Venom.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

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)