Houston’s Necrofier began as a two-piece and slowly evolved into a much larger act, gaining more recognition as they toured with bands throughout the gamut. Although the press release focused on the act’s comparisons toward newer bands like Watain, Cloak and Tribulation, (which would be hard to peg now as that act in particular have changed their genre as much as they’ve changed their socks) it is safe to say that the very roots of the genre are here.
By that, I mean acts like Darkthrone, Mayhem, Marduk, Immortal, and the like. There are definitely Southern groove elements baked in, but the nihilistic spirit of black metal is definitely contained within this brutal incantation as songs like “Return To Chaos,” “Death Comes For Us All,” and most certainly, “Betrayal Of The Queen.” Even guitar solos make an appearance on the record, something that I’ve felt should be essential in a metal album in the first place.
I still don’t know how kvltists feel about the inclusion of solos on newer black metal discs, but we have to face facts that this is and should never have been removed in favor of the more punk-fueled styling of the early black metal days. I wouldn’t change the black metal of the ’90s, but it’s good to see that the genre is finally incorporating the kinds of things that have been apparent since acts like Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Metal Church, and countless more old-guard acts. Without screaming solos, it’s just difficult for me to say that you have metal. Necrofier delivers those without fail.
Aside from his screaming solos, Bakka Larson also whips up more than a few memorable vocal nodes on this disc. He’s got one hell of a rasp, and I can feel that spite and malice unleashed perfectly on this disc. A few spoken parts, but definitely befitting of the atmosphere. Dobber Beverly of course shows those Insect Warfare chops of his meld rather well with black metal, as he works his way around the kit and adds a real sense of purpose to an album where each approach is not the same as the last.
Even though the band doesn’t throw the kitchen sink into their music like latter Aborym or others who have even been having Nu-Metal moments surprisingly; they still managed to craft a rather bleak thing that doesn’t feel quite like something I haven’t heard before. Sure, purists might say that—but they’d be doing the background melodies an injustice.
Necrofier began as an experiment and you can see that. Some reviewers may say “that the band hasn’t quite found their sound” with this one as I’ve heard several times in my years of covering metal. However, I beg to differ this time. I believe that experimentation is the butter to the bread that is this band and the very fact that they’re not giving me the same black metal disc I’ve heard half a dozen times is a feat in itself.
When I was swamped with promos, I found myself listening to a lot of black metal acts who had the right idea but have missed the mark. You can’t just be evil for the sake of evil, or dark for the sake of dark. You’ve got to bring your A-Game, and that’s why Prophecies Of Eternal Darkness works. That’s why Necrofier have a place in the modern black metal scene and hopefully should make an impact on fans past and present.
Out of all the albums I’ve heard in my years, black metal would number the most and that’s why I’ve become rather picky with it. There’s energy here, and for God’s sake, it’s not drowning in blast beats. Trust me, I love a good headbanging to blast beats (probably want to be careful with that nowadays kids; I ruined my neck that way) but just knowing that I’m getting more than that is worth it’s weight in gold.
As I’m getting older, I don’t tend to write reviews as much as I used to, but when I heard Dobber and company were working on a new one, I knew that it was going to be something special. Oceans Of Slumber have always surprised me with their mix of progressive death metal and alternative rock, so I knew that Necrofier were also going to knock it out of the park when it comes to black metal.
The man can really make any kind of music and that’s a skill that very few people have, which Prophecies Of Eternal Darkness proves in spades. You can also tell that Larson and new recruit Josh Bokemeyer put a great deal of work into this disc, carefully crafting each riff to make an experience that just captures the air and intensity of what this genre is supposed to be.
Lately, people have been trying to redefine black metal and I understand that comes with new generations, but as far as I’m concerned, black metal is all about fury, attitude, and unbridled rage. That’s what I’m getting here, and I love every bit of it. I’ve got a feeling these guys would absolutely tear the roof off during a live set and this record’s proof positive of it. So give it a listen when it drops later this month and maybe you’ll get to catch the band on tour next year when the current situation has calmed down.
Definitely don’t sleep on this one. It runs fairly short, but you’ll want to throw it on shuffle or just play it from the start right after the first listen. Ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinary folks, this is how black metal is supposed to sound.