Complex mystical black metal from Greece which frequently involves instrumentation of retuned 8-string basses.

Black Arts Lead to Everlasting Sins

Production: Split between Necromantia and Varathron but sound is consistent. Fairly obscure but mixed well so that the slightly abraded instrument signals do not corrupt each other. What sounds like weird guitar tone on the Necromantia is actually the 8-string bass their guitarist plays for riffs.

Review: Someone mixed folk-music voice rhythms and 70s hybrid metal rock into a modern package with bizarre conceptions of darkness. Ambitious, it incorporates a saxophone and other horns into a slow ritual beat song "Evil Prayers" and pulls it off through vocal rhythm and tribal beats despite the inherently repetitive nature of the riff heavily repeated.


1. Lora of the Abyss (7:50)
2. The Feat of Ghouls (5:34)
3. Evil Prayers (5:44)
4. Lycanthropia (1:44)
5. De Magia Veterum (10:04)
6. The Cult of the Aragon (2:27)
7. The Tressrising of Nyarlathotep (7:15)
8. La Reine Noir (6:09)
9. Outro (0:49)
10. Aescent of a Prophetic Vision (3:29)
11. Genesis of Apocryphal Desires (3:10)
Length: 54:17

necromantia genesis of apocryphal desires
Copyright © 1994 Unisound

There are many guest musicians on this album, but the format they fall into is musically-aware simple rock of power chords laid out in slack upbeat rhythms and chorus passages. In many ways similar to Judas Priest, this band construct verse chorus songs that expand into extended transitions for dramatic use, creating an epic effect even within this gurgling, rasping, organic production. While guitar work is tasteful, it is heavy metal more than black metal although both black and death metal technique are used.

Shrieking tempest vocals of evil spread like a thick sauce over rhythm and tone, encoding all heard beneath as if to remove some of its fundamentally space-rock nature, but in essence Necromantia is evil rock with a heavily artistic gothic melancholy despite its rhythmically friendly nature.

From The Past We Summon Thee
Wild Rags

Production: Garage ambience and echo but overall relatively representative although squashing lower registers.

Review: These three songs are simple elements worked into ambitious but fundamentally simpleminded musical experiments. Low riffs squash together at a walking rhythm under whispering, chanted dark vocals.

Evil ambience pervades but the simple phrases of this work, in simple verse-chorus arrangements conveniently modified for periodic emphasis, are unequal to the task and leave the listener with a repetitive romp through projections of darkness. All instruments are competent but every element is limited to three pieces or distinctive subelements, forcing a patterning not unlike a dance into musical form.


1. Faceless Gods (3:46)
2. Lukanthropia (Lycaon's metamorphosis) (1:40)
3. La Mort (:12)
Length: 9:40

necromantia from the past we summon thee
Copyright © 1996 Wild Rags

The rhythm later established by this band and evolved in a higher development of this style is not there, nor are the ambitious guitar solos or harmonic variations. For lovers of melodrama and zombie movie effects however this album provides the redemption value easily in the dark and ludicrous but artistically conceived gestures of this early work.

These recordings are from some segment of the demo process and have been re-released by Wild Rags records in a limited run possibly to be renewed. Providing insight into the early aesthetic vision and limitations of Necromantia, this EP demonstrates the raw germinal essence of what would become a more majestic idea.

Scarlet Evil Witching Black

Production: Roomy but clear live-sounding production fits music well.

Review: The excess of black metal prompts many to wonder where further extremity fits, but bands like Necromantia assure us the space of chaos remains wide for creativity. Their work, somewhere between Judas Priest and Dark Throne, brings out the best in heavy metal style black metal while emphasing the nihilistic essence of modern metal. Rhythm comes from the heavy-strumming hand of Norwegian black metal and synchronizes to a progressive rock drum track designed to give the guitars freedom to vary both in riff and lead guitar arrangements.


1. Devilskin (5:49)
2. Black Mirror (6:31)
3. Pretender to the throne (Opus I: The Usurper's Spawn) (5:27)
4. The Arcane light of Hecate (4:21)
5. Scarlet Witching Screams (5:27)
6. The Serpent And The Pentagram (5:21)
7. Pretender to the Throne (Opus II: Battle at the Netherworld) (7:51)
8. Spiritdance (6:26)
Length: 47:15

necromantia scarlet evil witching black
Copyright © 1996 Osmose

With a storyteller's gift for meta-rhythm Necromantia weave complex dramatic motion within their otherwise rigidly metallic masterpieces, finding ways to make each verse serve the building whole so to achieve structural complexity. Surely every piece of metal from its history is here; the Black Sabbath budget riffs and tritonal denouement, the grindcore blast beat and the black metal racing beat, doomy melodic passages from the repertoire of stoner metal bands worldwide, abrupt black metal melodic riffing, death metal phrase granularity, progressive rock space-age lead guitar, and Iron Maiden style melodic song assembly.

Musicianship is superb although perhaps texturally unfamiliar, since the entire album is played on 8-string basses used as immensely technical string weapons; each theme is crafted as a phrase with melody and center in the old style, and the overlaid classical touches and background instrumental arrangements accentuate the phrase expertly. Moribund as it is this release is not in any real way as ominous or fleshlessly nihilistic as many black metal bands, but similarly dissonant by repossessing rock n roll in the image of this morbid, cruising, romantic and yet malevolent art.

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