NECRONAUTICAL “Slain in the Spirit”

By Dr. Abner Mality

When it comes to black metal, I usually prefer my meat raw and bleeding instead of topped with an overload of sauce and spices. But there can be exceptions. NECRONAUTICAL is a British outfit that definitely leans towards the bombastic, symphonic and grandiose in their approach to BM. This is for fans of DIMMU BORGIR, CRADLE OF FILTH, WINTERFYLLETH and CARACH ANGREN. In other words, no gas masks and bullet bandoliers for these guys.

They dive into the pompous and orchestral immediately with “Ritual and Recursion”. It’s also a speedy blast and it’s clear the band favors the faster side of the equation. Despite all the production trickery and over the top bombast, NECRONAUTICAL digs up some catchy and appealing riffs beneath it all. There’s a melodic death metal and even prog metal side to this band as well, but the fundamental foundation is catchy musical motifs, no matter if they are straight metallic chords or lush string arrangements. The title track and the excellent “Death Magick Triumphant” are two good examples of how to do orchestrated black/death metal the right way.

It is a pretty exhausting listen to taken in all at once and ultimately the style is just not my cup of tea. I would have prefer another couple of tracks like “Disciple”, which is a concise and effective little rager. But NECRONAUTICAL prefer to sail the seas of ostentation on “Slain In the Spirit”. For those who prefer operatic black metal, this is recommended.