Necrowretch – With Serpents Scourge (Century Media)Sunday, 22nd February 2015
What can be said of Necrowretch that hasn’t been said of their debut and demo reissue disc? The band seems to epitomize the current crop of retro death metal madness in their attempt to cling directly to the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. While some bands within the sound have used their sophomore efforts to bulk up a bit and expand their respective palettes, Necrowretch’s With Serpents Scourge more or less provides the same ‘metal by numbers’ as their debut.
With the band’s formula essentially unchanged from Putrid Death Sorcery, there’s not much new ground to be dissected here. About the only thing that does come to mind is the addition of some older, Altars of Madness-era Morbid Angel-isms into the band’s basket of influences that does pair nicely with the Grave/Autopsy/Death mixture which has kept the motor running up to this point. The blastbeats come across as a bit unhinged (in a good way actually) as the band scurries through the nine provided tracks, only really slowing down a bit on the closer “Mortem Ritu.” As it has been the case, one of the aspects that keeps Necrowretch afloat are the vocals. Genuinely evil and sounding possessed, Vlad’s screams are as furious and old school as they come and there’s still potential for the band if the rest of the instruments came across in this manner.
Serpents Scourge doesn’t really change too much of the status quo for Necrowretch. With so many bands out there trying to capitalize on the same rotten sound, it would do the band well to try to spice up their game with some new flourishes. There’s nothing particularly wrong with what Necrowretch is doing, it’s just that it seems so terribly pedestrian.