Necrony – Corrupted Crescendos Review

Before he was the drummer in Axis Of Despair, Anders Jakobson was the drummer in a little ol’ band called Nasum. And before he was the drummer in Nasum, he was the bass player in Nasum, in the earliest days of that band, with Rikard Alriksson on drums. And before those two were in Nasum – and before anyone was, since Nasum was yet to exist – they were most (sometimes all) of Necrony, a relatively short-lived grindcore-slash-death-metal outfit from Örebro. In a short run through the early 90s, Necrony managed two demos, one early and one late, alongside a single, a full-length, and an EP of cover tunes.

So there’s your history lesson for the day, kids. Learning is fun.

Release date: August 25, 2023. Label: Helter Skelter Productions / Regain.
Now, a quarter-century after Jakobson and Alriksson shifted their focus from Necrony to Nasum and to subsequent Scandinavian grindcore supremacy, Necrony’s compact catalog is getting a deluxe re-presentation in the form of Corrupted Crescendos, a limited-edition 5LP (!!) set that compiles all of the above efforts and some heretofore unreleased rehearsal / live tracks. (The digital release is shorter, containing most of the Necrony oeuvre, but omitting the rehearsal tracks and the Necronycism: Distorting The Originals covers EP.) Remastered by Dan Swano, Crescendos is one-stop shopping for all things Necrony.

Unlike their contemporary Swedeath giants, Necrony was far more indebted to Carcass and other early Earache grinders, eschewing the buzzsaw bite of Dismember or Entombed in favor of blood and gore. Starting with 1991’s Severe Malignant Pustule demo – there’s that Carcass influence, right up front – Corrupted Crescendos runs chronologically through Necrony’s development. Throughout all of these various releases, one thing that’s continuously apparent – and it’s immediate, from the sound-FX intro of “Intro: Ortuo” – is that Necrony is adept at atmosphere, creating that primal ickiness that characterizes the best goregrind. Severe Malignant Pustule is rudimentary, its riffs relatively simple and straightforward, its tempos as often doomy and oozing as they are thrashing and carving, but between Dan Wall’s blown-out guitar tone and the various vocal grunts, gurgles, and groans, Pustule pretty much nails the watery rotten sound that bands like Sequestrum would pick up decades later.

The two-song Mucu-Purulent Miscarriage single bridges the gap between the demo and 1993’s Pathological Performances, Necrony’s only full-length, their magnum o’pustule, shinier and less fetid than the demo, but still just as icky. By the time of Pathological, Wall had departed, paring Necrony down to a duo, with Jakobson taking over guitar duties in addition to bass and vocals. Lineup shifts aside, it’s on Pathological Performances that Necrony (and by extension, Corrupted Crescendos) shines brightest, a razor-sharp goregrind record filled with the kind of catchy grossness that inspired legions of bands to ply a similar sound, from the early 90s ‘til now. Tracks like “Gynopathological Excav-Eater,” “Pro-Rectal Carnage,” and “Acute Pyencephalus And Cerebral Decomposure” show some interesting guitar work, oddball melodies and solo bits that float up from nowhere, leaping out atop the tremolo-picked death metal riffs. (The last of those three tracks also features a brief flute-laden symphonic intro and outro.) Grade-A gore from the first wave days, Pathological Performances is an oft-overlooked slice of virulent violence, and handily the most accomplished part of the Crescendos collection, an album any goregrinder should know and love.

Another two-song demo bridges the next gap, the cleverly titled Promo Tape ‘93-’94, wherein our intrepid heroes further refine their grind, adding near-gothic clean vocals to “Under The Black Soil,” moving just a step past the Carcass love … until the covers EP brings it all right back to that. With five Carcass songs getting Necrony-cized – alongside others by Repulsion, Impetigo, Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, Carnage, and Discharge – Necronycism is a celebration of the band’s influences, as obvious as they are, and it’s a fun trip through some classics, even if none of these versions improve upon either the originals or the level of quality Necrony set for themselves with Pathological Performances.

(Author’s note: My digital promo didn’t include the rehearsal / live recordings, so I can’t comment on those, except to say that three of the five are titles that don’t appear elsewhere, so likely an additional three Necrony songs that I haven’t heard.)

Despite that they only have one real record in their relatively short lifespan, Corrupted Crescendos shows that Necrony is deserving of a status greater than “historical footnote,” even if they’ll be stuck in the shadow of their own side project forever. Whether for the obsessive collector (the extensive physical release) or the more casual goregrind aficionado (the digital version, which includes the primary draw, Pathological Performances), there’s gory goodness to be had on Corrupted Crescendos. Let the blood flow.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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