WORDS: David Creamer
NEKROGOBLIKON’s 2013 EP Power left us all with mixed feelings. For many, it left a bad taste in their mouths as they could certainly lend praise to the band’s musical proficiency and technicality on the album, yet they could not see past over certain inconsistencies found within it, a big factor for some being the vocals not being up to scratch compared to other releases and perhaps its jagged flow through each song. And now that the band has released a new full length album, Heavy Meta, many can only hope that these harsh criticisms found within Power are redeemed from in one way or another.
With Heavy Meta, we unfortunately see more of a retreat from the over-the-top emphasis on Goblins, but this does not draw away from the main focus of this band’s antics which can be summed up fairly well into one word. Fun. Heavy Meta still retains an element of silliness which can in some respects also be taken seriously to an extent, which fans of NEKROGOBLIKON love and adore, going as far as to feature Andrew W.K. on the track Let’s Get Fucked.
After seeing the drastic improvement of the production quality from Goblin Island to Stench, there is not much more room for improvement going from Power to Heavy Meta. Some sequences on this LP however sometimes feel strewn together in a jarring manner which can have some nauseating consequences in terms of the listening experience, but altogether, the record’s sound is overall fairly satisfying, with no fear of any over-production taking away from the heaviness of this album.
Heavy Meta features yet more experimentation in culminating different musical styles into the mix, which both provides a great listening experience as they are flawlessly worked alongside the ever present thrashy, melodic death metal riffage, but also leaves the listener somewhat wanting as there are cases where this experimentation really brings out the peak flavour of a song, but it is sadly not expanded upon, leaving us feeling withdrawn as the song abruptly comes to a halt and a more familiar sounding piece kicks in to replace it. There are great cases where deathcore-styled pieces and even jazz guitar parts are used to spice things up, an amazing example being the track Atlantis smacking us in the face with riff after riff of blisteringly fast guitar fingerwork from the get go. Alas, the song simply fades into history, alongside the ancient city, as this crash course in an example of how musically complex music styles like deathcore can be comes to an immediate standstill. We Need a Gimmick is also a guilty culprit of this too as it features some funky jazz styled guitar work, which sounds bloody brilliant but is sadly not utilised to its full potential. Quite a shame really.
To really get nit-picky with this release, we could comment on how the use of keyboards has been gradually reduced to an atmospheric role and that the vocal style on this record is simply not varied upon enough. Nevertheless, Heavy Meta is on the whole fun and contains that ever burning element of musical technicality that makes each NEKROGOBLIKON release a thrill ride full of crazy fast melodic death metal madness.