NECROCEST have been through some taut changes during the past few years, but judging by their latest 2009 release, "Prenatal Massacre," the band is definitely heading in the right direction. The album is stone-cold Death Metal, taking more than just a pinch of CANNIBAL CORPSE and throwing in some LIVIDITY for the sake of it. Itís a far-cry from the Ďmoderní Death Metal largely consumed by those skinny-jeans obsessed creatures in your local shopping centre. NECROCEST hark back to a style of DM that thrived during the mid-90ís, complete with a mostly solid host of riffs and good production quality.
Now NECROCEST are from my home city of Cardiff in Wales. Not the most exciting story ever told, though perhaps it explains why Iím disappointed in the band for not taking more of an adventurous approach with this record. Like many UK Death Metal artists, NECROCEST take a great deal of influence from their US-born brethren, epitomised in the albums groovy tenure and the commodity of blast-beat sections on each track. Despite its tight form and structure however, the vocals on the album arenít the strongest and I found they were often lacking the range needed to stand apart. Thereís also a few less inspiring tracks such as "Desire to Defile" and "Slut Starved" which are absent of any real hooks.
"Prenatal Massacre" is a good Death Metal album from a band capable of better. Given time, Iím certain this current line-up can give us more than what is essentially a small piece of the puzzle. Until then however, "Prenatal Massacre" is a worthy play-through if you enjoy the likes of SUFFOCATION, NECROPHAGIST, or GUTTURAL SECRETE.
(Online December 4, 2011)