Released in 2020 on CD, cassette and LP through Ván Records, ‘Nekrovault – Totenzug: Festering Peregrination’ is the debut full length album from Bavarian Death Metal horde Nekrovault, and comes adorned by spectacularly moody cover art depicting an army of the dead marching towards a bleak sinister column.
This wretched opus of the damned begins with a soul destroying death march of the dead, in the form of the crushingly oppressive ‘Totenzug – Funereal Hillscapes’. Totenzug, the German word for death train is devastatingly accurate. From a processional and gradual start rises an impenetrable column of towering blackened riffs, and as the lyrics themselves suggests, “Death drums resound. From burial mounds…”. If the opening salvo is a predatory stain of tremendous horror, then ‘Sepulkrator’ is its bolder, brasher brother in death. Festering growled vocals combine with crypt dwelling guitar rhythms and the colossal pounding of those damned death drums; oh and the bass tones, harrowing, gruelling bass tones that crescendo in a threatening bass solo which drips with scorn, and miasmal horror.
The ceaseless lumbering grind continues through the equally bleak and tormented ‘Psychomanteum – Luminous Flames’, and it isn’t until ‘Pallid Eyes’ that Nekrovault unleash a new kind of pox upon this world, as they open the taps fully on their fury and unleash a dismal yet spectacular salvo of quick, aggressive beats and savage violent riffs. And yet even here the bands true brooding nature cannot be contained and soon the album festers once more in their repugnant, turgid decay, though they do burst forth with more volleys of hyper-explosive cruelty.
One of the the strongest tracks of this album, though they are all strong, is the shorter but potent ‘Basilisk Fumes’ which wallows in slow, groove drenched squalor before exploding into a fearsome bout of punishing, gruelling guitar rhythms and grandiose drum tones, as well as a flurry of bowel shuddering bass play and a growled vocal haranguing from the very lowest depths of the catacombs. meanwhile, closing track ‘Eremitorium, the longest on the album, has a more urgent clamour to its pace and the guitar tones.
Nekrovault bask in the deepest darkest vaults of murky and total Death Metal, and ‘Totenzug: Festering Peregrination’ is a monstrous expression of their oppressive, vile desires. As far as debut albums go, this one is an all-encompassing slab of supremely dark, filth, blood and detritus caked Death Metal barbarity!