Necrocentrism: The Necrocentrist by UttertombRelease date: June 23, 2017
Label: Pulverised Records
Black/death/doom your fancy? Uttertomb’s Necrocentrism: The Necrocentrist often breaks away from monolithic crushing slow riffs to give you waves of downtuned violence and back again. Often breaking up the doom sections to achieve balance, the band’s bass lines and guitar riffs sound like a powerful toxic whirlwind of smoke emissions.
The production suits what the band intends to do here, which is send blastbeats and dirge-like downpicking and alternate picking on the sixth and fifth strings. The guitarist only plays the upper frets on the wailing solo segments. It’s quite possible to imagine Uttertomb playing in a vortex of ash and sulphur, quite like one scene described in Dante’s Inferno. The vocals are comprised of unintelligible death roars and little else. No clean singing. No acoustic guitars. No saxophones. Just heavy unadulterated blast and doom, blast and doom, then blast and doom again.
On one hand, the band does very little formulaic song structure and the riffs are never catchy enough to emblazon upon memory. The song evolves as it goes along, and the very unpredictable song structure makes repeat listens necessary to appreciate some of the things the band does well. However, it also leads to listless repeat listens. Boredom can take over and the music becomes little more than a soundtrack to remind fans of blinding, sweeping dark winds.
I tried hard to like the record, and the band does seize my attention on the blast sections, but the slower doom sections stagnate too much, and the album itself seems messily assembled. Is it possible for some fans of doom/death to like this record? Yes. But Necrocentrism strikes me as acquired taste. If you’re in such dire straits and beg only for death doom for salvation doomed to fail, you might like this album for its suffocating atmosphere. The songs muddle in the absence of typical song structure and the riffs are hardly exceptional. It will take patience and a headset to evaluate this album fairly, and I must admit that if the album were available in LP, it would become a more interesting listen. As it is, the digital copy has heavy booming bass and tremolo picking combining intangibly, and the riffs are quite difficult to recognize as a result.
With that said, the band has a unique sound (if it wins you over) and a style that many underground fiends still profess to worshipping. Necrocentrism reminds me of the band Set, and fans of that band will dispute said comparison because Set utilizes more traditional song structure than Uttertomb does. If you like the sound of volcanic ash sweeping through the plains and engulfing towns, burying the townsmen alive where they stand, you’ll like the wall of sound the band makes while blasting. Else, I suggest an album that offers more hooks than Necrocentrism does.