Greek Black Metal has always had a special place in the scene. Without bringing up the widely known history and naming the celebrated bands once again, we can safely say that the Greek Black Metal scene has been very vital and important to the development of the Black Metal genre, its recognisable sound has inspired many and still has a large loyal following. However, there are also Greek Black Metal bands that maintain a very different style and have not been (directly) influenced by the Greek Grandmasters. One such band is Athens-based Necrohell.
Formed in 2008, the band has already reached their fifth full-length album with ‘Ravishing Funerals’, with a slew of smaller releases in between. The duo thus maintains a good working pace in which they manage to make the sound increasingly tight on each album. On this first album for Christhunt Productions, the band sounds more Norwegian than ever. Not only is the cover a clear homage to the iconic black-and-white covers of Darkthrone but the music also distinctly breathes that musical direction. It is a succession of riffs that worship Darkthrone, Gorgoroth but especially Taake and Urgehal. Necrohell certainly doesn’t do that without merit, I would even dare to say it is hardly inferior to the Norwegian examples, just listen to ‘A Grave In The Vast Forest’ for instance. Here and there also some Judas Iscariot shines through, but the sound of Necrohell is much warmer and the riffs are woven into an overwhelming whirlwind in a much more organic way. The at times easily audible bass guitar also provides an extra dimension that I do sometimes miss with many (Raw) Black Metal bands, the deep underlay providing that much-needed depth. The same can be said about the creative drums, the great fills and use of toms and cymbals make for a more dynamic and diversified sound than the all too standard and basic pummeling. Again this is a kind nod to Urgehal’s best works.
It may not be an album that can be expected to have a very big impact on the (Black) Metal scene, but qualitatively and musically, ‘Ravishing Funerals’ offers absolutely top-notch material. Christhunt Productions has currently only released this album on CD, so it is to be hoped that it will also be offered on analogue formats for the cassette tape and vinyl fans among you.