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Review: Necromancer - Songs About Death and Stuff 1986 - 1991
Songs About Death and Stuff 1986 - 1991

Label: Bestial Burst
Year released: 2019
Duration: 1:11:49
Tracks: 19
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: March 10, 2019
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (7 Votes)

Some Finnish underground thrash metal nostalgia here... Necromancer are originally from Hyvinkää and I suppose these lads don't ring any bell for most of you unless you are a Finn yourself and lived through the heyday of the speed/thrash metal movement, the years 1985-1989 especially.

Necromancer were one of those Finnish speed/thrash metal bands that died way too soon before they even managed to build a solid career for themselves. In the beginning, they were hugely inspired by bands like Slayer and Sacrifice before starting to emulate Metallica and/or Megadeth sound wise. They existed only about four years before dropping their instruments on the floor and saying goodbye to the world in 1991. They reformed in 2013 for three years to play some occasional gigs here and there in Finland and then split up in 2016.

There's been a huge demand to get some of the band's stuff released officially but nobody ever took the bull by the horns until now, thanks to small Finnish underground label Bestial Burst, mostly known for releasing black metal.

This compilation, featuring 19 songs (including one four-song rehearsal from 1986, three demos from 1987-88 and one 2-song EP from 1988), all painting the picture of an intense thrash metal band that was truly hungry for achieving a lot of more during their career than they ultimately did. The 1986 rehearsal tape that starts off this compilation doesn't really represent the way their sound developed over the years, becoming much better musicians and songwriters.

Niko Rintamäki, who was the band's first vocalist (and bassist) had a very rough vocal delivery, even on the first demo, titled Prolicide. It was that demo that introduced me to the band in the very same year, leaving me pretty impressed by their evil and ominous-sounding thrash metal.

It was their next three-song demo, released in 1987, that managed to cut the cake to me, so to speak. Anssi Autio, who played the bass on the Prolicide demo, took over the vocal duties and switched his bass to guitar on that demo. Their songs became faster and more technical and in many ways, many consider this their best work, even today. "Malicious Death" became an instant hit among thrash bangers and speed freaks back in those days, at least in Finland.

The next demo, having five songs (plus a cover song of "Rocka Rolla" by Judas Priest), showcased them as a much more technically advanced band while still maintaining a lot of speed in the sound. They continued on that chosen path on their 1990 self-released two-song EP, with "Downfall" and Liquid Sky" definitely being the most technical and advanced sounding tracks they ever recorded, and perhaps also the ones that should have got them signed to a record label. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be.

This a pretty solid compilation, putting together these cultish Finnish thrashers' best-known songs. A couple of minor complaints, though. There's an extensive interview included with guitarist Juha Mattila in 2003 but the text print is unfortunately unclear, making the interview hard to read. What I personally would have wanted to see included in this compilation would have been a very good quality seven-song rehearsal tape recorded in 1987, on which these blokes sounded very Slayer-ish. At that time, they were Finland's answer to Slayer, said many. I consider this particular rehearsal tape as their most violent, aggressive and mean-sounding release.

This certainly isn't any definite compilation from these legendary Finnish thrashers, but it's definitely worth getting.

More about Necromancer...
Review: Rehearsal 1987 (reviewed by Mjölnir)
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