In the 1968 Hammer Horror movie ‘The Devil Rides Out’, Duc Richleau tries to rescue his late friend’s son and his girlfriend from the hands of a devil worshipping cult. During that rescue mission, he disrupts an occult ceremony in which the devil appears in the form of the Goat Of Mendes. What follows is a suspenseful plot in which black magic and the summoning of the Angel of Death play a major role.
“The bride of chaos, the rider upon the beast. With this knife, do I draw out the blood, which is thy life.”
It is with this quote from the movie, which stars Christopher Lee as Duc Richleau, that the Italians of Necromutilator kickstart their third album, and first for Osmose Productions. While the average Hammer Horror film is somewhat gothic and even romantic in nature, this one revolves around pure devil worship, and that apparently appealed to the band.
The music that is presented is an amalgam of Black and Death Metal in which the music is played in that very characteristic and slightly chaotic way. However, compared to most other bands in the genre, the guitar tone is remarkably ‘light’ and the chaos component is of a less prominent order than with most. Consequently, Necromutilator does lack conviction. It’s not bad per se, but before you know it, the album plays on and your mind is already occupied with other things and the music fades into the background. Not only is the guitar tone a bit on the light side, but also the production sounds a bit too thin, making the whole thing not come through well. The problem with Necromutilator is that it lacks the balls to really smash your face to rubble like a sledgehammer. Although I don’t completely reject it, I’m still far from convinced.
Maybe it’s because they picked the wrong Hammer Horror film after all. Because ‘The Devil Rides Out’ enjoys a happy end. All the main characters turn out to be alive again, after a certain spell turns the coven room into a church and turns back time. God intervenes and ends the cult leader’s life and subjects him to eternal damnation. All of the main characters realise they should be very grateful to God.
A hopeful and godly ending that runs counter to the band’s chosen blasphemous ethos. Bonus points for the awesome artwork, though. (FelixS)