originally written by Chris McDonald
Relative newcomers on the increasingly lucrative French extreme metal circuit, Necroblaspheme are a quirky bunch. Aside from some decidedly bizarre song titles, the band seems fond of drenching their faces in mud for their photo shoots (maybe mud will become the next corpse paint, who knows), and their album artwork for Destination: Nulle Part is some of the more interesting I’ve seen; a vast scenic landscape of Earth 2-like proportions, marred by a huge, amorphous black smudge clouding the middle of the image. As abstract as this depiction is, it somehow manages to convey the atmosphere of this album pretty accurately—just don’t ask me how exactly. Let’s just leave it at “weird.”
Oddball tendencies aside, Necroblaspheme play modern, multi-dimensional death metal that bares similarities to Prostitute Disfigurement and fellow Frenchman Benighted, which is already good company to be compared to. But even though this is only their second album, this band could very well hang with, and even eclipse the big dogs if they stay the course shown on Destination: Nulle Part. Necroblaspheme display some seriously impressive intensity here; the production and musicianship is near-flawless, the riffs are well-versed and varied, and when these guys crank up the tempo they can easily rival the likes of Rotten Sound in terms of sheer blistering power.
Destination: Nulle Part is more than capable of making an immediate impression, but this is also a death metal record that doesn’t blow its load on the first two listens. There’s a subtle depth to many of Necroblaspheme’s more original passages that give the band that ever-desirable air of originality in addition to their bizarre themes; the interesting rhythm melodies of “2H40Min A.M.” and “Sorry For Us,” the grinding chug of “??? > I,” and the schizo-blasting riffs of “Descent’s Genesis” are just a few examples. While I enjoyed this album the most when the band is charging ahead at ungodly speed (who knew blastbeats could still sound this fucking thrilling in 2009?!), the groovier segments are just as crushing, and the band’s more melodic passages contrast tastefully with the ripping extremity of the core sound. Above all, these compositions feel like songs rather than interchangeable slabs of technicality, and the band’s penchant for hooky licks and melodies that surface amidst the calculated chaos ensures that you’re walking away from this album with more than just a neck-ache.
Destination: Nulle Part is one of the more promising death metal records I’ve heard recently, and has made Necroblaspheme a shoe-in on my “bands to watch” list. I was immediately drawn to these guys based on their strange imagery, but their inventive songwriting and jaw-dropping ferocity are the real selling points here. This is far from the next major step in death metal’s evolution, and there is the occasional awkward transition or slightly flat riff, but overall this is an exceedingly well-composed and well-performed album that should delight metalheads looking for something both brutal and forward-thinking.