A four count. That’s all the warning given before the cyclone that is “Necrotic Verses” begins. Right out of the gate, this thing just pins your ears back with a cyclone of old-school Death Metal riffage and rhythm, the likes of which are as scarce as tolerance of opposing opinions these days. With the speed and technicality of early At The Gates, and the intensity of Carcass and Entombed, Death Courier are not fucking around with pleasantries.
After being savagely battered by the title track for just shy of four minutes, “Morning Ecstacy” and “As Heaven Blends With Rot” body-slam you for the next five, with bass and guitar parts that could make Slayer cower in the bushes.
“When Death Fits to Skin” is a stand out, and with a title like that, you really can’t be too surprised. This tune wraps itself around the insides of your brain like a creature from an H.R. Giger painting, laying little acid-drenched alien eggs, which sets the stage very well for “Interlude,” a short instrumental track, that serves as sort of a calm in the storm.
Death Courier is a Greek band, formed in 1987 by Billy Soulas. A massively destructive bass player with a voice to match, Soulas has gone through several lineup changes and released nearly a dozen demos and EP’s, a live album, two gloriously brutal long players (“Demise” in 1992, and “Perimortem” in 2013). “Necrotic Verses” will be LP number three for the band, and the second with “Perimortem” guitarist George Petousis and drummer Ilias Iliopoulos (who incidentally are both in another killer band called Vermingod, who you should absolutely check out after listening to this Death Courier album seventeen times).
Deciding to take no shit from “Interlude,” “Pillars” violently presses forward with a guitar part reminiscent of fellow Greek Metal demons Rotting Christ. Following suit, “Morsimon” and “Immune” annihilate for five consecutive minutes, filling your ears with all sorts of fears in the vein of Decapitated and Cryptopsy, followed by another stand-out track called “Visceral,” which is a growling frenzy of heavy as hell!
At this point, in case I haven’t already made it clear, let me just point out the obvious, this is an absolutely relentless fucking record. Nowhere is this more evident than the opening moments of the final track, “Remnants.” In my notes, upon first hearing this song, I wrote the following words. “OHHHH! THE RIFF! IT’S MELTING MY FACE! HOLY SHIT!” It’s the kind of final track that kicks so much ass it makes you want to play the entire album over again immediately. And fair warning, It may have that effect on you several times in a row, a fact I can personally corroborate.
Death Courier has been around a long time, and they deserve to be recognised as top of the crop, which “Necrotic Verses” could easily do for them. It is thirty-four minutes of pure Death Metal heaven, if such a place exists, and an easy contender for album of the year.
Rating – 5/5