Minimalism can be a beautiful thing. DARKTHRONE, AZRAEL, ASH POOL and HORNA show us this in Black Metal, while BOLT THROWER, PENTACLE and DEBAUCHERY exemplify said principle in Death Metal. But what of Doom Metal? Isn’t this whole genre based on a minimal amount of playing, speed and variation? Well it seems so but it has become a complicated thing to stay in the minute mindset when playing music, CANDLEMASS, WHILE HEAVEN WEPT, and SWALLOW THE SUN have taken full compositions and turned them into Doom Metal. It seems one must turn to the bloody dregs of Funeral Doom to experience the artform of minimalism now. Well, that’s partially true, as Funeral Doom prides itself on such things, but traditional Doom Metal minimalism is making a comeback and with bands playing as well as NECROTIC TRUST does this is a very, very good thing.
Hailing from the barren Metal wasteland that is Ukraine, NECROTIC TRUST breathed new life into the Doom Metal genre a few years back, and it went over with very little fanfare as “Dry Our Fears” was self-released. So BadMoodMan Music decided to re-release it August 2007 with two more tracks “Dysangelium” and “Bloodcast”. So how does this album hold up? Very well and is, in fact, one of the better Doom Metal releases in a long time.
NECROTIC TRUST relies on a few differing sounds on “Dry Our Fears”, alternating between slow guitar driven passages and somber string sections. This is not to say that the songs do not have differing melodies or feelings to them, as they do, it’s just the overall tone of the album is that of the mono variety. However the atmosphere created by the lack of instruments is one of clarity and genius. Igor’ guitars keep this low vibe tone that is disturbing and grisly but at the same time captivating and beautiful. Serge’s bass is not the most audible instrument as the droning tends to drown it out but his drums are the main source of variety, from drum rolls (the title track) to double bass work or fillers he provides an excellent base for the music. Another highlight is Igor’s vocals, they are tormented and mumbled but very audible at most times. He sounds like a more pissed off or drugged version of Gavin Rossdale of BUSH (“Glycerine” anyone?) and it suits the music extremely well and provides the main melody for songs. It’s nice to hear the vocals being used as a platform rather than the stage as the case for many bands.
The album is seeping in atmosphere but highlights include “A Conflict Point”, “Hysterical Eden”, the title track and both bonus tracks. These five tracks are stunning, especially “A Conflict Point”, the title track and “Dysangelicum” with their Industrial tinges and utterly horrifying melodies. “A Conflict Point” has to have one of the best openings ever and the disharmonic nature of the song itself is breathtakingly frightening. The title track is sorrow incarnate, speaking of divine abandonment and the melody is sweeping and harmonious. The finisher to the album is the most desperate sounding track and it closes the album on a sorrowful yet striking melody.
If you like doom at all, and in particular love the subtle nuances of the genre and can embrace minimalism for the genius it is one cannot pass this release up. The re-release is limited to 100 copies so snatch it up while you can, and who knows, if it sells out perhaps another re-release or even new release could be on the horizon. Do yourself and the genre of Doom Metal a favor and pick this up. I guarantee you will not regret it whatsoever.
(Online March 29, 2008)