Necrot – Lifeless Birth


California has been a bastion of death metal for years on end, being home to the likes of Possessed and Autopsy, among others. While this may be the first time I’m listening to Necrot, their latest release proves that California death metal is still going strong so many years later. It’s honestly been one of my favorite releases of the year so far. “Lifeless Birth” is intense and enjoyable from start to finish, with so much to make it stand out from others in death metal. 

Artist: Necrot

Album: Lifeless Birth

Label: Tankcrimes

Release Date: April 12th, 2024

Location: Oakland, California

Review originally written for Dovendyr – Heavy Metal Historian can be found here.

A friend of mine from the metal community shares posts online when new albums are released. And a good amount of the albums he shares posts about are for releases that I don’t always know are coming. This album is one of those releases I didn’t know about. Recently, he shared that the new Necrot full-length “Lifeless Birth” is out. I had known Necrot by name, but for one reason or another, never got around to listening to them. So, with their newest full-length now out, I decided to give them a spin. 

I like the artwork for “Lifeless Birth”, but I think there are some areas for improvement. The devilish figure and the humans encircling it stand out well not only against the background, but against one another. However, the figure seems static and takes up a large portion of the piece. Necrot’s label, Tankcrimes, shared the album in full on their YouTube page, and the video shows more of the background the figure is in. The background has a lot of cool details that get excluded from the cover art. I think the cover would be a bit better if more of the background was shown and the figure was in a more dynamic pose – maybe something like Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Son”. 

The album kicks off with “Cut the Cord”. That opening riff transitions perfectly into the verse and the fills in between lines of lyrics are a neat touch. The title track starts with much more pounding drums, and a touch more intensity. “Lifeless Birth” doesn’t really let up in the slightest, blending death metal with touches of groove fantastically. The mixing and mastering on these two tracks is outstanding.

“Superior” slows just a touch, but maintans a similar intensity to the previous track. Luca Indrio’s vocals are deep but clear, and Chad Gailey’s drumming is unyielding. On top of that, Sonny Reinhardt’s solos on this track are some of the best on the album. “Drill the Skulls” slows down a bit more – a welcome change of pace. It occasionally picks up the pace, while maintaining a similar energy to “Superior”. I’d say that these two tracks are probably my favorites from this entire album.

“Winds of Hell” brings the intensity back up, but it’s not my favorite track. It’s good, but I find the more intricate riffs of previous songs to be more interesting. “Dead Memories” has a bit more intricate riffs and variety to make the song more engaging. On top of that, Reinhardt’s solo on this track has got to be one of my favorite on this album. The album closes out with “The Curse”, the longest track on the album. Slow like “Superior”, “The Curse” adds in touches of atmosphere to an epic death metal track. It’s a great closer to an incredible album.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I feel like a lot of modern death metal lately has been trying to throw everything but the kitchen sink at the listener at every possible turn. Necrot’s “Lifeless Birth” doesn’t do that. The Necrot trio know when to give the listener a breather before picking the intensity back up. “Lifeless Birth” maintains an old-school vibe, while sounding fresh and distinct from other recent death metal releases. For me, this album’s killer riffs, solos, vocals, and drumming make it one of the best releases of 2024. 

Necrot can be found at: Bandcamp, Deezer, Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, and Spotify

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