Previously entrenched in death metal’s blast-filled domain, Necronomicon have turned the page on Advent Of The Human God, their 5th album, and embraced the symphonic bluster of prime Dimmu Borgir in the process.
Each song is big and bold, laced with the expected embellishments and adorned with strings, shrieks and relentlessly chugging riffs. It’s all thrilling stuff, not least on highlight “Unification Of The Four Pillars” (a not so subtle reworking of Dimmu Borgir’s “Puritania” in essence), but it’s nothing new.
And there’s the rub.
Necronomicon are skilled and ostensibly they’ve mastered their craft in a career that dates all the way back to 1988(!) but a lack of originality mires this release somewhat. The ‘marching into battle’ atmospheric instrumental interludes have been done to death (although “Okkultis Trinity” does have an Omen-esque nerve-jangling aura) and add precious little to the overall effect but when the band truly unleash hell, such as on “Crown Of Thorns“, it’s impossible not to suit-up, wipe the dried-in blood from your broadsword and prepare for war!
While familiarity often breeds contempt, Advent Of The Human God has enough moments of epic – almost operatic – grandeur, enough faithful heads-down death metal blasting and enough symphonic black metal bellowing to forgive the lazy comparisons. Overall very good then….but falling somewhat short of great. 7/10