Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ritual Necromancy - Oath Of The Abyss

Ritual Necromancy shocks nobody but pleases everyone with their full-length debut, Oath Of The Abyss.

The more and more I listen to it, the more and more tired of the OSDM revival movement I become. Some idiots go so far as to label this kind of death metal as a different genre, like "artistic death metal" or "atmospheric death metal" but that's like calling all the progenitors (the "old school") by those labels as well since their music is so goddamn similar. I am generally a forward-thinker when it comes to music, and I always love seeing what bands can put out next and what the current genres' limits can be pushed to. This old school death metal movement pushes none of those limits and leaves no room for originality, but sometimes it's just good for a fun little romp. This is where the appeal of this recent movement is, and earlier this year Disma kicked my ass with the infectious Towards The Megalith. I've got Funerus and Necrovorous on hold too. I love this stuff nearly as much as I love esoteric tech death, but it's starting to wear thin.

The majority of the bands that fit this bill are mimicking Incantation's warm, hellish, doomy death metal. Ritual Necromancy are no exception. After the semi-ambient intro "Accretion," the blasting opener "Cacophonic Dementia" rises from the depths of hell and threatens to drag you back down with it. Mid-paced riffs pound while a great bass-drum sound reverberates throughout the album. There's a few doom-influenced riffs, as is typical, that break up the fuzzy blasts, some of them are quite memorable. "The Chasm" is a good example. Not really sure why they chose to name the song after another death metal band though, but it's absolutely fitting for the earthquake-inducing music. "Desecrated Presence" is one of the better fast-paced tracks on the album. Imagine Satan tremolo picking away while demons open up a mosh pit in the bowels of a great volcano. That's pretty much what it sounds like.

The organic production really makes the fuzziness stand out. Lots of reverb, distortion, and strong bass frequencies are littered across the hellish landscape Ritual Necromancy creates on Oath Of The Abyss. There aren't very many standout riffs though, and the production really hurts their memorability. This is mostly in part to the very genre being based on the imitation of OSDM. There are a few cool standouts though. The title track has one of the more memorable outro riffs which drones on and on, in a good way. Although not the most unique combination of OSDM elements, overall Oath Of The Abyss is a fun but unmemorable listen, one that I'll be coming back to and forgetting over and over again.

6.75 out of 10


1. Accretion
2. Cacophonic Dementia
3. Descent
4. The Chasm
5. Desecrated Omnipresence
6. Penitence
7. Consummating Crypts of Eternity
8. Oath of the Abyss

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