Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Necrofagore - Into the Gloom of the Buried Valley (2020)



Country: Peru
Style: Death Metal
Rating: 7/10
Release Date: 1 Mar 2020
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It's been a while since I've reviewed anything from Peru, a country which I discovered last year is punching well above its weight in the rock and metal worlds, especially with psychedelic rock which this emphatically isn't. In case you couldn't extrapolate from the name Necrofagore, this band is firmly a death metal outfit. They're from Lima and they've been around since 2007 but have only released two albums thus far, this one and Macabre Finding in 2013.

It would seem that there's something of a death metal scene in Peru too, as each member of this band has belonged to a bunch of others, often a plethora of them, all with quintessentially death metal names. Vocalist Nun'sfucker (at which name I naturally rage at the inappropriate apostrophe), one of a pair of guitarists, also plays in Demoniac Slaughter, Impalement and Eternal Exhumation, though with two albums behind them, Necrofagore have now become the most prolific of that bunch.

This is old school death metal, a churning morass of downtuned guitars, bass and demonic growling vocals, akin to early Autopsy. It sounds rather like a pit looks and that's no bad thing. The more I listen to new bands recording old school death metal, the more I'm enjoying it. I'd drifted away from the genre long ago when brutal death got boring but, with melodic death now the default form of the genre and sounding less and less extreme with each year that passes, this seems like a better and better alternative.

Of course, the production is much better than anything in 1989 could boast, because of the advent of 21st century technology. Drumming has moved on too and AnHelles does a fantastic job behind the kit here. The music varies in tempo considerably and he's as good fast as he is slow and churning, with a fast foot action while playing achingly slow with his hands. He hooked me a song into the album, with blisteringly fast fills moving to total stops at the beginning and at points during The Incestuous Beast.

Necrofagore are a four piece band, the other two members being Ripping Soul Collector on bass and Sadistik Kali on guitar, both of them new arrivals. I like what everyone does here, though it's sometimes hard to focus past those drums. There are two guests I'm aware of, Alex Okendo of Colombia's Masacre adding vocals on Tombs Under the Hecatomb; and Sergio Ferreyra, presumably of Imetheos, providing vocals on the excellent Malignant Dust of Cemetery; it looks like they were a Venezuelan band who relocated from Caracas to Lima.

The songs are so consistent in quality and sound that it's easiest to listen to this as a single 45 minute piece of music, unless you really want to dive deep. The one track that stood out for me was The Incestuous Beast, though I loved the guitarwork under the incessant drums on the closer, Ancient Trees of Sacrifices, and the eventual slowdown too as it grinds down to a close.

I've liked everything I've heard from Peru over the last year, whether it be the groove metal of Prometeo, the psychedelic rock of Spatial Moods or, at the top of the heap thus far, the hard rock/heavy metal of Regum. All these bands make excellent music that sounds entirely different to each other's. I can now happily add Necrofagore to that growing list. Whatever's going on in Lima right now, keep it going on!

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