Necronautical – Slain In The Spirit : Album Review

Necronautical release a metal tour de force, on their fourth album, that takes the band into new and exciting musical territory.

Release date: 20th Aug 2021

Label: Candlelight / Spinefarm Records

Format: CD / Vinyl / Digital

Manchester’s Necronautical formed in 2010 and on their fourth album, Slain In The Spirit, have transcended their black metal roots, to produce a metal tour de force that defies categorisation. The album weaves together majestic symphonic sounds, with a cinematic edge, pummelling blast beats, epic guitar riffs and solos, and clean and death metal vocals. Whilst still skilfully retaining a recognisable black metal touchstone to the band’s sound.

Opening track Ritual and Recursion, has an eerie horror film soundtrack type introduction, before charging headlong into a symphonic death metal wall of sound. It has the magnificent soaring feel of Fleshgod Apocalypse, the Italian symphonic death metallers, at their most musically intense. A compelling and quite excellent beginning to this superb album.

The title track brings in a hook laden, hammer like guitar riff, accompanied by some completely driven and extreme, blast beat drumming. A beautifully undulating guitar solo, and gentle acoustic interlude, add impressively to the narrative power of the song, and its articulation of altered consciousness. The final coda features the wonderfully expressive soprano vocals of Victoria Harley. 

Hypnagogia, has an imposing death metal dynamic, interlaced with atmospheric black metal musical structures, with Victoria’s operatic vocal soaring through the mix. It concludes with the heaviest, edgiest riffing this reviewer has heard this year. One to turn up the volume on, if you dare.

Pure Conciousness Event is irresistible with its breathtaking speed and pace, and some of the most scarily, deeply growled metal vocals on the album. In complete contrast, the final section of the song, is characterised by a delicate choral type lament.  A really creative juxtaposition of musical styles.

At this point, reference should be made to the technical sound of the album, overseen by renowned metal producer and Conan bassist Chris Fielding. It is quite awesome, with a soundstage that provides a crisp clarity to all the individual instruments and voices, even at the most high octane musical moments on the album.

The album concludes with Death Magick Triumphant, and the band’s interpretation of Slayer’s Disciple (exclusive to the CD version). Death Magick Triumphant, with its ambient intro, has a groove metal swing, combined with a very anthemic quality, while Disciple has all the thrash metal elements you could hope for, in its full on fast percussive tempo and guitar shredding and distortion, overlaid with Necronautical’s symphonic black metal. Slayer would be pretty pleased with this version.

Without doubt, Slain In The Spirit is a great metal album, and Necronautical are a band you will want to see live on their upcoming shows this autumn.

Watch the video for Hypnagogia below.

Necronautical: Bandcamp / Facebook

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