The undisputed kings of eldritch horror return from a darkened temple somewhere in unknown Kadath with a brand new record titled Unus, out via the Outer Gods that run Season of Mist records.
Unus is ten tracks of magnificent, symphonic, blackened, death metal dripping with enough cosmic dread that only a beast as foul as Dagon might find it appealing. Well, Dagon and a bunch of discerning metal heads with damn good taste, that is.
It’s hard not to say enough good things about Unus. “Paradise Lost,” “Ascending the Throne of Bator,” and “Cursed MMXIX” are stellar tracks on this disc, without doubt, but ya wanna know what makes this record special? Necromonicon have mastered the art of writing and shooting a horror movie completely on vinyl replete with cool, eerie sound effects and samples that marry the band’s razor-sharp style of epic death metal with an amazing, symphonic component. The result of such a feat is this massive sense of atmosphere that elevates the heaviness that is Necromonicon’s sound. To hear this band, loudly I might add, is to experience how unique and crushing they are.
They gift unto you, the listener, a distinct sense of flight, of soaring, of having front-row seats to a full, theatrical production that plays out in front of you—story, plot, and characters. Let’s be clear, though; Unus is not a concept record. Rather, it’s the band’s stunning ability to tell stories via their mastery of imagery evoked, especially with “Ascending the Throne of Bator,” track seven, and most notably with track eight, “Fhtagn.”
Track nine, though, “Cursed MMXIX,” is a beat-down. It’s Necromonicon paying homage, in part, to both Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. This is Necromonicon grabbing your skull and thrashing it against a stone altar, repeatedly. The final song, “Vox Draconis,” is the soundtrack to mankind’s impending apocalypse.
In the end, Unus is the band’s best record to date, their finest hour. Every song feeds into the next one, and every element the band uses to accentuate each song works perfectly. Do yourself a favor if you haven’t done this already—check out the band’s back catalog in addition to buying Unus. You won’t be sorry. Magnificent and unrelenting.