NECARE (pronounced Neh-ka-Reh), Latin for „to kill somebody with malicious intent“. Now that’s a happy start, also because the title of the album is “Ruin” and the song titles also do not really invite to pluck flowers.
It’s not that common that the Finnish Doom/Death brigade of Firebox signs a band from outside Europe, but NECARE come from the US and play a thorougly dark variant of Metal, slow, dark, melancholic, but still with great melodies. The band, consisting of two members only, G.C. and R.H., managed to create a very dense album, full of atmosphere and mood, with different emotions, even though the basic tenor, of course, is dark.
“Stillborn Twilight“ is a very moody intro, with acoustic guitars, some keyboards and then also a bit of violin, before “Rite Of Shrouds” dives into the Doom/Death Metal and celebrates British Doom/Death for almost ten minutes, enriched with piano passages and a quite own atmosphere, which does not really make the NECARE sound unique, but still gives it an interesting touch. “Desire (The Dawn And The Chrysalis)“, again more than nine minutes long, continues this and also adds more very well placed piano parts and some clean vocals as well, very strong song!
“Celia“ with its more than 13 minutes playing time is even more atmospheric and slow, very widescreen, with great keyboard supported, dreamy passages and harsh vocals, which greatly fit into the composition, a true epos that can compete with the best, trust me! A masterpiece! And also the following “Gethsemane” is great, with spoken vocals over again classical Doom Metal.
The production from the Recording Zone is immensely clear, but still crisp and gives each detail all freedom it needs. The abstract cover also fits the musical content, altogether I can only heavily recommend “Ruin” to every fan of Doom and Doom/Death Metal, because NECARE have come up with one of the best albums of this style in the past couple of months, no kidding. Firebox once more confirm that they are a stalwart for quality releases! (Online July 8, 2004)