Review: “Self Titled” by Necronomicon Ex Mortis

Formed out of extreme love for 90’s Death Metal and 80’s shred alongside 80’s horror movies on VHS, horror video games and HP Lovecraft, guitarists Michael Nystrom Bala and Manuel Barbará joined forces with bassist Yusuf Rashid, drummer Joey Ferretti and vocalist Craig Schmul to create Necronomicon Ex Mortis in Chicago Illinois. Together they hatched a plan for World Domination with the dark promise of a gory good time in a World painted in blood and soaked in Old School Death Metal, their debut EP produced and mixed by Charlie Waymire at Ultimate Studios (Tarja, Teenage Wrist) and adorned by artwork from Lucas Korte as they seek to escape their basement torcher chamber hell…

Inspired by Swedish Death Metal “Celestial Tomb” lays down the blast beats while having an interesting melodic lead that flies into a monstrous extended face melting solo of the highest order, confirming if there was any doubt that these musicians have the capability to step on stages with World Superpower level bands and hold their own. If it wasn’t for their love of old school works, you could easily see them going down the more technical road of an Archspire or Inferi, the clues to that murder mystery are all wrapped up within this whirlwind of an opener for all to witness. Another classy piece of Death Metal with more of an American styled sound “Earth Cancer” has a nostalgic quality while at the same time having a life of its own. The fretboards smoke as the fingers burn and blister but the riffs, leads and solos simply keep coming. Lyrically the narrative is one about a wrathful God that curses the human race with overpopulation, giving the feel of their being no escape from the hellish existence thanks to Schmul’s creative storytelling.

Refusing to sit on their laurels Necronomicon Ex Mortis crush the weak with a third powerhouse performance in a row as “Nocturnal” plays out in sinister and menacing fashion, Schmul’s bowel clenching death growl mid track suggesting he has more to his vocal game than meets the eye. A tale of murdering teenagers at a summer camp, it fits the aesthetic that the band have created for themselves so perhaps we can expect references to Final Destination, Scream and Dawn Of The Dead in future burnt offerings or ritual sacrifices. Variety is the spice of life as they say and the band have done themselves plenty of favours with the wide spectrum of lyrical narratives on these four cuts. Named after the critically acclaimed classic 80’s horror movie “The Burning“, the final offering is a lethal dose of pure Metal hatred, driving down the darkness and taking the riffs to a new level of complexity. The key change and slick transitions are done incredibly well, a testament to how long the band spent in the rehearsal space dedicated to their craft to get it right, not to mention the phenomenal soloing. Forget about rehab, give us more! [8.5/10]

Track Listing

1. Celestial Tomb (4:35)
2. Earth Cancer (4:22)
3. Nocturnal (4:00)
4. The Burning (4:59)

Self Titled” by Necronomicon Ex Mortis is out 31st March 2023 and may possibly be available over at bandcamp.

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