"Doom of the Occult"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Germany's Necros Christos have been haunting the chapels since the early years of the 21st century with their grim and gloomy death metal. Obsessed by all things otherworldly, this band practices a unique and singularly doom-oriented style of plodding death. Not interested in the least with speed, blast beats or demonstrating how technical they are, Necros Christos concentrates on slow, simple, tank-like heaviness combined with unearthly growls and a strange, indefinable occult quality.

The Necros take their occult leanings pretty seriously. This whole album sounds like one huge incantation to the gods of the netherworld and breaks down into three very separate types of music. There are 23 tracks, but only nine of them are proper metal songs. The other tracks are instrumentals that fall into two categories. There are nine "temple" tracks which are eerie exhortations from a massive church organ. I've always loved the spooky tones of a mighty organ and the "temples" add greatly to the occult atmosphere of the album. There are also five "gate" tracks which have a very Grecian or Meditteranean feel...they are played on balalaika, acoustic guitar, flute and percussion. These instrumentals are a little longer than the "temples" and in the case of "Gate IV" we have one lasting over five minutes. These cuts, too, have their charms and it is clear that Necros Christos considers both the "temples" and the "gates" to be an important part of "Doom of the Occult".

The metal tracks are all based on simple riffs and create an atmosphere of hypnotic doom. In some cases, the tunes drag and become repetitive, but for the most part they are pretty gripping, especially on "Hathor of Dendera", "The Pharaonic Dead" and "Descending Into the Kingly Tomba". The sepulchral growls of Mors Dalos Ra are perfect for this music and sound like they are coming from the bottom of a forbidden well.

Necros Christos is not going to be for either the casual doom or death metal fan and it takes a certain frame of mind to best appreciate "Doom of the Occult". Turn off all the lights, light candles  and maybe watch "Tombs of the Blind Dead" before slipping this in and you'll have the best chance of understanding...