But Listen: 011: Nekrodrako – Vitriol

I’ve always had something of a love-hate relationship with the idea of the side-project. Sometimes they are just a lazy attempt to get more attention to the “parent” band (it is not normally difficult to tell this: often any mention of the “new” band will show “x from y’s new project”, or something like), but the more interesting ones are the ones where some new music genuinely doesn’t fit with the modus operandi of the “parent”.


Label: self-released
Catalog#: none
Buy from: no longer available: some tracks can be downloaded

Happily, the latter is true here with Nekrodrako. The “parent” band in question is 3ulogy, and most of the stuff here is not really in the same realm. Rather than straight electronics, the base here is extreme metal. It is impossible to say that it is death metal, black metal, grindcore or even thrash: at points it touches on all four, fused with a raging electronic base that for the uninitiated could well be something of a trial to listen to.

Opener Rehumanise makes this clear from the start in no uncertain terms. A pounding beat, with electronics swirling around like laser-sights sweeping for a target, gives way to growled vocals and crunching guitars that don’t let up for four minutes, save for a strange interlude where the beat suddenly morphs into swing-time. The Art of Nothing‘s brutal opening – a gattling gun attack on the senses – is fun, too, especially when married to the grinding, death tolling breakdown, before the artillery resumes. There’s also the sign of a youth spent listening to thrash metal, too: just check the riff that comes in half-way through.

You Will Fail pulls things into somewhere different, with the riff driving the track, rather than the beats – for the most part the beats are off-kilter and seem to almost fill the gaps, rather than providing a solid base. Oddly enough, it works, even if aspects of the production seem to be perhaps a little more “scuzzy” than they really need to be. The one thing I really don’t like, though, is Vitriol, which sounds for all the world like a 3ulogy reject that has just had the guitars turned up. While the rest of the CD successfully creates it’s own sound, this track unfortunately does nothing of the sort.

Still, that one track doesn’t make for a bad CD overall, though. These four (very different) tracks are added to by some bonus stuff, of which two tracks at least are older ones. Riverside, save for the still-unexpected “clean” vocals is probably the closest to Black Metal that ND have ever been, at least until the track mutates again into almost breakbeat territory. Cultivating The Mediocre is almost punk-like in it’s rawness (more in this direction would be most interesting), while Dearth of Humanity takes a similar direction to Riverside, where the electronics take more of a backseat in the main.

Overall, the cavalier attitude to genres and pigeonholing is refreshing, as a big “fuck you” to all those who insist on obsessively categorising by genre, particularly in extreme metal circles. While not all of it works – and indeed, at points there are too many ideas stuffed into each track – in the main this is a brave attempt to create something extreme that doesn’t sound like everything that went before it, as is often the case.

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