NEKROÍ THEOÍ – Dead Gods

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label [URL]: https://store.prostheticrecords.com
Released: 2019
Buy Album [URL]: https://nekroitheoi.bandcamp.com/album/dead-gods
Band Website: http://facebook.com/nekroitheoi

Band line-up:

JJ Polachek – Vocals
Mark Gonzalez – Guitar
Luke Phillips – Guitar
Dustin Rogers – Drums
Matthew Marino – Bass

Tracklisting:

1. Doxology
2. The Foul Eucharist
3. Simony of Hollow Christs
4. Swine Cull
5. The Name Above All Names
6. Blue Shirt White Hood
7. Ancient of Days
8. Empty Glory
9. Dead Gods

Review:

Nekroi Theoi are a brutal death metal band from Florida on Prosthetic Records. They were formed in 2015 by JJ Polacheck (also of Monotheist and 7 Horns 7 Eyes), Dustin Rogers (also of Ovid’s Withering) and Mark Gonzalez. In 2017, ‘Theoi released their first EP ‘Ouroboros of Shit’, which featured Dan Weyandt (Zao) on guest vocals. On 31st May, the band will be releasing their first full length album, ‘Dead Gods’. They have been influenced by Defeated Sanity, Deathspell Omega and Neurosis.

A striking feature of this music, is its often rather horrifying nature. Obviously it is normal for death metal to be ultra heavy, but the genre isn’t always quite so alarming. The way (relative) calmness is regularly contrasted with complete madness only makes the emotions raised even more intense. However, it seems Nekroi go a bit over the top at times. Sometimes because they’re so extreme they actually end up sounding a little silly, spoiling things somewhat. The pig squeals notably often come across as kind of dumb, if not slightly comical. The band really need to try less. The malevolent monotone narration sometimes heard is pretty chilling in a very cool way, though.

Despite the variety of textures in the album, the songs still have tendencies to sound similar to each other. The cliched, downtuned and semi-atonal guitars in particular get a little tiring. They’re not bad to mosh to but are frequently lacking creativity in rhythm and note choices. Songs such as ‘Ancient of Days’ have more interesting instrumentations such as choirs mixed with sinister bass notes, but again the excessive dissonances sometimes heard sound silly rather than scary. You might think the band would have more taste with their often epic compositions (‘Dead Gods’ for example is over 10 minutes long), but they sometimes lack the ability to be truly attention grabbing.

To sum up, stop trying so hard! If you want a genuinely frightening experience, check out ‘Prosthetics’ by Slipknot, or anything by doom metallers Unholy. Again, the band do write interesting music at times, they use a far greater range of dynamics than your typical death metal band and their chord progressions are often creative. However, the same kind of ideas keep getting used. Having said that, it is likely blast beats and heavy riffing insanity will be popular till the end of time, and you sure get a load of those. Dead Gods is not a bad effort, but it’s not as good as it could have been with a little editing.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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