Necro Deathmort - The Colonial Spirit [Distraction Records - 2012]
The Colonial Spirit, the third full length from the redundantly named Necro Deathmort, is a vexing listen indeed without some key information. Without paying much attention I put this on early in the morning and for some reason concluded it was another of the “post” black metal hybridized with industrial fare from Norway. Instead, a reframing of the listening context improves the experience: Necro Deathmort is instead a straight-ahead industrial metal duo from the UK. Despite hailing from the same land that brought us Godflesh some 25 years ago, Necro Deathmort seems to have drawn influence from their Industrial sound from the United States and fused into it a fair bit of plodding death/doom as well.
The plaudits online about The Colonial Spirit cite fearless innovation and drawing influences from electronic genres as a defining characteristic. The problem with this approach is that the album is weighed down with too much meandering “filler” sounding material and boring “atmospheric” elements which would have served better as intro/outro or transitional material (such is the case in the tracks Endless Vertex and Wretched Hag). The beats here sound canned and are rhythmically quite uninteresting; the synth work is typical and melodically does nothing memorable.
So what about the heavy parts? Well, when they finally come along (only four of the nine tracks fall into this category) they do achieve a moderate level of hopelessness and wretchedness, but nothing above the level of your, say, typical Norwegian post black metal industrial horde. I think the main failing of band here is their inability to make the central riffs the most important component. Instead, they have obviously spent hours, days and weeks crafting the entire synth and sound effect minutia – the result of which is a dull, plodding album which tires one out instead of compelling the listener into the void.