Label: Witches Brew Records
Ugh! This is pure first-wave filth and violence. Every bit as subtle as you’d hope from the name, solo black metal act War Atrocities have unleashed 7 tracks (well, 6 and an intro) of blasphemy that harken back to the days of old, with a touch of metalpunk for good measure. If it weren’t for the release date on Necromantical Legions, you’d almost think you were listening to some lost classic, spawned from the same twisted DNA as Bathory and Hellhammer, right down to the raw DIY-as-fuck production. As it is, Necromantical Legions is further proof that sometimes, the old ways can be best, and is sure to get fists raised and heads banging.
Requisite intro track “Screams From The Pits” opens the album in a manner much like “Storm Of Damnation” did back in the 80s, before church bells herald the arrival of “Destruktor Of Eternal”, which launches with a riff that both Quorthon and Tom Warrior would have been proud of. Largely mid-paced, the track is full of darkness and metal, with riff after riff backed by strong drumming and vocals from the depths of hell, whilst the almost metalpunk bass adds extra weight and punch to the riffs.
It’s a great way for the album to start, and subsequent tracks follow in a similar style. There’s little deviation from the age-old template here, and that’s part of what makes Necromantical Legions such a success. You know exactly what you’re in for, and it delivers the goods. Filthy riffs abound, complimented by short, almost punk guitar solos. The metalpunk feel is really pushed to the fore on tracks like “Cryptic Calls” and “Ripper Lust”, with brief use of gang vocals, or in the bass-heavy intro to “Storm Of The Tyrants”. Whilst the gods of first wave black metal are the most obvious comparisons here, there’s definite metalpunk and d-beat influence lurking beneath the surface, proving that, whilst the first wave worship is absolutely clear, there’s more to War Atrocities than seeking to copy what has gone before. The closing cover of Bathory’s “Armageddon” helps to highlight that point – the original tracks fit right in with it, but are clearly the work of a songwriter with his own talents and ideas.
At less than a half hour long, Necromantical Legions is a brutally concise fist to the face, delightfully crude and violent in all the best, blasphemous ways. Those who like their black metal to be regressive and raw will find plenty to enjoy here, and those who don’t will be crushed by the sheer power on display. Play it loud and bang your fucking head!