The joke around the Last Rites water cooler (which is filled with Stiggins’ Plantation, Fancy Pineapple Rum) was that we would treat Domedon Doxomedon with a Fast Rites because, let’s face it, brevity, while often fundamental, is not one of Necros Christos’ strong suits. This, their departing effort, clocks in just shy of two complete hours. One hundred and thirteen minutes and six seconds. One hour and fifty-three minutes. Not surprising given that their EP Nine Graves was 41 minutes (remember, it’s an EP) and their two prior LPs have been about 73 and 60 minutes. So, shocketh unto thee that their first wholly fresh material in seven years, packed onto a triple LP, would be an absolute behemoth when it comes to length. And behemoth it is with 27 tracks spread across the three discs.
While Domedon Doxomedon might be long — incredibly long even — one thing it doesn’t do is break the Necros Christos mold that fans have come to know and love; that remains completely intact. Instrumentals account for about 75 percent of the tracks, while their unique take on blackened death metal accounts for the other 25 percent (which is roughly nine tracks). These Germans are not merely focused on their own demise. Rather, Domedon Doxomedon touches on all aspects of occult, apocalyptic, and downright brutal end-times theory with Christ maintaining a central role in their story (which takes on ritualistic and ceremonial postures).
As is the pattern in all their lengthy works, “I am Christ” is followed by two interludes. The album features both a “gate” interlude and a “temple” interlude and both are distinctly their own series. The gate being represented by a solo, mournful guitar (at times backed by a sitar) cleanly bending and sliding around while using more Middle Eastern (Phrygian and Locrian) diminished tones to effectuate an almost lazy opening of the doors to the temple. Inside, the temple greets the listener with bells, chimes and ambiance all only mildly interrupted by a soft, yet filthy, voice beckoning the listener forth into the “Tombstone Chapel.”
Inside the deadly chapel, a Morbid Angel vibe thrashes the track into existence before the classic Germanic rhythms take over, always marching forward with a halting, jerking, staggering, yet entirely pragmatic methodology. Not one to be confined to a singular rhythm, it’s not uncommon on Domedon Doxomedon for Necros Christos to borrow from more blast-oriented blackened death (see “Exiled in Transformation”), firing on all cylinders before dropping the über-German lurch-hammer and dialing back the throttle into their more comfortably classic, recognizable pace.
Biblical themes aside, despite their commitment to lyrical consistency, Domedon Doxomedon is a musically interesting and inspirational album. It’s unfortunately their last, but the band goes out with a loud, chaotic bang. Gates slowly open into temples full of mysterious, evil chanting followed by a full service via metal indoctrination ceremony. The pattern is nearly rote for Necros Christos at this point. Fortunately, they haven’t overloaded the world with LPs during their nearly 20-year career. Thus, the three they have released (along with Nine Graves, which is essential listening) work as a sort of trilogy; each represents a different dark holiday ceremony full of Hebrew, biblical allusions and plenty of shout outs to the one and only Jesus Christ (a big wassup to JC!?).
Comparatively, the “Gate” and “Temple” interludes are produced similarly to their 2011 release Doom of the Occult. Domedon Doxomedon is thick, rich in mids and bass while mastered with enough instrument separation to allow the more melodic guitar lines to float or scream over the top. Guitar harmonies, like in “The Heart of King Solomon in Sorcery,” shine with the crystalline production; guitars weaving careful, melodic circles around each other as they break off into more active, contradictory soloing. The overall feel is one of robustness, like a rich cup of Sumatra that was left to sit out and congeal over months of decay as the person who made it rots away on the floor.
Given the length of this album it’s safe to say that a review could go on forever. But that would merely add to the time in which you, dear reader, are not listening to the final installment in the grand tome of work that is Necros Christos. They are a band easily overlooked due to the sheer volume of interludes on their albums, which also indicates that they are a band easily misunderstood. The important thing is to listen. Whether you get through one disc or all three, absorbing their music as a whole, as a thematic exploration, is an experience unlike any other.