Album: With Serpents Scourge
Label: Century Media Records
Alright ladies and gents, gather ‘round for some sweet, sweet old school death metal worship. This particular album, Necrowretch’s With Serpents Scourge, doesn’t go into unexplored territory, but the band put together a strong effort that had me hooked from beginning to end.
Hailing from France, Necrowretch has released one album prior to With Serpents Scourge: the excellent Putrid Death Sorcery. Necrowretch is part of the revival of OSDM brewing in the metal community for a few years, with their sound being somewhat akin to early Death with a hint of black metal. With Serpents Scourge has a total of nine tracks and clocks in just over 35 minutes, making a fairly short album. However, it’s well-rounded enough that I didn’t walk away with the feeling like it was incomplete.
Standout tracks include “The Bells of Evil Schism,” “He Thrones on Thy Sins,” and the album’s most well-known track “Feast Off Their Doom.” “Feast Off Their Doom” in particular showcases the band’s competent, if not slightly generic songwriting. The song starts at a slow, brooding tempo and melodic guitar line that builds anticipation for the rest of the song nicely. A tremolo picked riff follows, along with more intense drumming, leading up to a portion with a powerful blast beat. The rest of the song is very enjoyable, but the part that stood out to me most was around the 2:20 mark where the guitars and the kick drums play the same rhythm – I have a weak spot for cool kick drum patterns. Other tracks include the brief, moody instrumental “Infernal Imprecation” which does a solid job setting the tone for the final song “Mortem Ritu”. But that’s not to say that rest of With Serpents Scourge doesn’t have a rich atmosphere.
Musically, Necrowretch succeeds in making their latest effort sound appropriately morbid. Intense drumming accompanies classic OSDM riffing while the vocalist takes a raspy approach to vocals. The bass seemed competent, but I don’t recall any particular moments in which I was impressed. As for the production, the instruments are mixed well and sound especially evil when all hell breaks loose. One complaint with the production is that the kick drum is often a tad too audible and not bass-heavy enough, but this is a minor fault and doesn’t affect the music in very many ways, good or bad.
With Serpents Scourge is a very enjoyable, somewhat by-the-books record that stands as an excellent example of OSDM worship done well. Consider looking into this one if you like death metal, luscious riffs, and French people shouting at you.