"Oath of the Abyss"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Ritual Necromancy sound pretty much EXACTLY like you think a band called Ritual Necromancy would sound. There is not one surprising moment on this gruesome chunk of death metal but then again, those buying a record called "Oath of the Abyss" are not looking for any.

These Portland fiends give it their all but fall short of being a top notch DM band. They have the necessary filthiness and they try hard to create that essential feeling of morbid horror but the impression I get is that they are shadows of their inspirations, the most notable of which are old Incantation and classic Stockholm death metal. There's been a glut of Incantation wannabes lately and Ritual Necromancy is another one. I give them points, though, for mixing the Swedish mayhem of Dismember and Grave with that  "Onward to Golgotha" sickness...the album is a virtual 50/50 split between those primal sounds. I feel Ritual Necromancy is at their best when pounding out slower, doomier tempos..."Desecrated Ominipresence", "Consuming Crypts of Eternity" and the title track all feature sludgy, diseased sounding riffs that hammer away remorselessly. When they increase the pace to blast speeds, they sound sloppy and the riffs are nowhere near as memorable. The vocalist has a mushy Craig Pillard mumble that doesn't match Pillard's archetypal grumbling...listen to the new Disma to hear how it should be done. Add in the fact that the drumming sounds weak and Ritual Necromancy is not worthy of the top dog spot yet.

Nice try, but not there yet. Keep working on it...