This review could be done in just one sentence, “Old school death metal done exceptionally well.” This Oakland trio began in 2011. Their recipe is simple. Their influences are exhibited on their sleeves. This is straight forward OSDM. That simple description does not match the intensity or severity of the music, though. This is grimy, brutal, and unapologetic. The good news is that The Labyrinth is a cultivation of eight tracks that most of us have never heard, since they reside on rare and out of print demos. The bad news is that The Labyrinth is that old material and not new. That said, this will be many people’s first intro. The production is on point. So, you won’t really know these are demos.
2016 is by far the most active for Necrot, having just released The Labyrinth and just wrapped up a tour across the US with Skullshitter. In two weeks they ravaged stages in the MidWest, The Northeast and Montreal. Necrot, originally, was a side project of Acephelix, formed by bassist/vocalist Luca Indrio (Acephalix, Vastum) and drummer Chad Gailey (ex-Vastum). They added guitarist Sonny Reinhardt (Saviours, ex-Watch Them Die). The Labyrinth melds their past into a vital, fresh package. Harvesting the demo production of Jef Davis at Lennon Studios (Abscess, Acephalix, Vastum) and Earhammer Studios’ Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil, Annihilation Time, Noothgrush), this release was mastered at Mammoth Sound by Dan Randall (Ghoul, Toxic Holocaust). Tankcrimes does stateside releases, digitally and a deluxe, foil-stamped LP. The cassette is provided by Sentient Ruin Laboratories in the US and Extremely Rotten in Europe.
The influences and comparisons are worthy of the greats. The obvious is (early) Sepultura, Grave, Exhumed, Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Entombed, Dismember, with good amounts of Amebix and Discharge. The punk/d-beat is a fertile thread through the spine of this death metal adoration. Heavy, thick and chunky, the production is never muddled. The production channels the great Sediwsh sound. It does accent the gritty riffs and powerful aggression over any crisp, technical production. As it should. The eight tracks rip in the three to five minute range, never exhausting an idea. Gutteral growls are mixed in balance with the buzzsaw guitars and pounding drums. The musicianship and originality are stellar here, lifting Necrot into the higher ranks of death metal. This grizzly spawn of Oakland is definitely worth picking up. (Hutch)