Falling feathers and savage necromancy

SAVAGE NECROMANCY: Feathers Fall To Flames

Release year: 2022
Label: 20 Buck Spin

Cover artwork by Chris Moyen featuring goats, artist pesudonyms such as Diabolical Fuckwitch Of The Black Flame and Conjurer Of Putrid Desecrations, and a band photo taken at a graveyard featuring more spikes, chains and bullet belts than regulations allow.

Yes, you guessed it: bestial black metal is the name of the game.

But, for once, with a little bit of variation. It’s not like this is cut from a different cloth, but maybe into just a slightly different shape.

Bestial black metal is a funny subgenre. It’s a very narrow and close-minded thing, where stylistic mediocrity is something of a virtue. You’re not supposed to do new things with it, you’re just supposed to sound as bestial and brutal and primitive and choose your own adjective as possible. Of course, every now and then, a band comes along who somehow refine or nudge along the sound (like Teitanblood, maybe) – but for the most part, innovation and originality is frowned upon. As an ardent fan of this style, I recognize this thought pattern in myself. If it doesn’t sound like Blasphemy or early Beherit or Abhorer – GTFO.

Savage Necromancy do sound like them, very much. But at the same time, they don’t sound like their endless throng of slavering colleagues. What sets this trio apart from the competition is the amount of thrash metal they inject into their bestial mongering. Of course, considering the archetypal bestial sound is at the very root of second wave black metal, thrash has always been an element in it. But it’s usually very buried, lost in the brutal sawing of the guitars and jackhammer pounding of the drums. Sacrificing none of the above, Savage Necromancy nonetheless manage to incorporate strong doses of bona fide thrash metal here and there.

Like alluded above, the end result isn’t some kind of forward-thinking or untraditional take on the bestial sound. It’s very traditional in the sense that there’s no musical finesse here, no technical prowess or boisterous displays of instrumental mastery; things that are cuss words in this subgenre. But still… it’s not entirely traditional either.

Apart from the usual suspects, from time to time Savage Necromancy’s sound strongly echoes Archgoat. I’ve never considered the Finnish legends to be part of the “bestial movement” despite obvious parallells in sound and style, and as such the “Archgoat moments” – both musically and the impressively hoarse guttural vocals of aforementioned vocalist Diabolical Fuckwitch Of The Black Flame – also help set Savage Necromancy just a bit apart from the most stereotypical bestial exponents.

Still, all things considered, there’s no beating around the bush. By and large, Feathers Fall To Flame fits very snugly into the bestial black metal niché, and that’s the target audience for this album. Despite the already mentioned slightly individuating characteristics of the album, the overwhelming majority of Savage Necromancy’s sound is authentic bestial black metal – even in the sense that this album doesn’t contain much you haven’t heard before.

And despite some details in the sound, which help set the album apart from the most generic exponents of the sound, qualitywise Feathers Fall To Flame is pretty standard as well. It’s not the best in bestial, but it’s of that pleasantly fair-to-middlin’ level that really doesn’t exist outside of bestial black metal. I can think of no other subgenre where “it’s a bit generic and dime a dozen qualitywise” can justifiedly be construed as a commendation.

And that’s just how I’d describe Feathers Fall To Flame: musically, some details give the album an inkling of own character, but by and large this is run-of-the-mill and qualitatively a bit dime-a-dozen. In other words: if you’re into the bestial sound, you can rest assured that you won’t be disappointed in the least.

Visit Savage Necromancy on Bandcamp

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