Band: Necros Christos
Album: Domedon Doxomedon
Label: Sepulchral Voice Records
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: May 18th, 2018
At first glance, this seems like a big album. 3 CDs and 27 tracks certainly seems overwhelming. But Necros Christos has managed to take this massive work of art and make it a smooth, diverse ride from start to finish. This being their last record, the band has chosen to go out in a big way.
Before diving into this project, it has to be broken down first. There are actually nine tracks in total, split up by musical interludes known as “temples” and “gates”. There are three tracks per CD (and their respective temples and gates). This is all connected through an overarching, spiritual concept; more like an occult, fantastical setting as opposed to religious missionary trying to force their views upon you.
The first temple of the first track sets the mood for the album. The quiet, brooding, ambient music gives an eerie feel that then gives way to a chanting of “Domedon Doxomedon”. Over the the chanting, the vocalist quotes a lengthy passage, adding to unsettling atmosphere. After that, the first song of the record “I Am Christ” starts in an almost gentle fashion, but then establishes itself as a heavy hitter with a medium tempo guitar lick. This is very much old-school death metal, with the drums establishing a very solid groove and the guitars going from riff to riff. After seven minutes of crushing riffs, the song slows down with drums slipping into a simple, yet hypnotic beat, while guitars offer light accompaniment with clean tones and open chords. This leads into a build section that seems predictable, but stops where least expected. Effectively messing with expectations, the song closes out on one more heavy hook before transitioning in the first of the gates.
One thing to note with the temples and gates is that it allows the band to explore other styles and mediums of music to further convey the feelingthey are trying to achieve. For example, the first gate is a solo guitar over a drone that comes from classical Indian music. It then transitions into the second temple, which is mystical and ambient, with light windchimes and a haunted, spoken vocals over the top of that. It’s a small example of how these are two different styles of music, but they are both used to further enhance the aura of this music.
“Tombstone Chapel” is the shortest of the nine songs on the record, but it’s one of the heaviest. The guitars are sludgey and the use of pinch harmonics is tasteful but not overdone. Still sitting comfortably in the mid-tempo range, the pulse this song establishes requires headbanging throughout. The third “movement” (if you will) of the first disk is just as heavy as the first two, but there is nothing new about it. It has the groove, the riffs, and rough vocals. Another solid track.
Moving on to disk two, “Seven Altars Burn In Sin” starts things off with a quickened pace, but eventually settles back into a similar, medium groove as the tracks beforehand. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and there is enough variety in the riffs to keep it interesting, but it does become obvious what the band is comfortable with. But they are also very proficient at it. Midway through the song, they shift into a mellow and melodic guitar solo section. It slowly builds back into another pounding section, but this time they keep it very heavy and slow, almost to the point where is could pass as a doom metal track.
Another thing this album does really well is maintain the dark atmosphere throughout without recycling material. While the band as characteristics that it falls back to, the use of the gates and temples help break it up. It shows that Necros Christos are focused and committed to giving the listener a truly immersive experience without getting distracted for the sake of self-satisfaction.
The last track of the second disk is “The Heart of King Solomon in Sorcery”. Taking on a much faster style than its predecessors, it offers refreshing change of pace. As shown throughout the rest of the album, the band shows its multitude of influences with the use of ethnic instruments in the middle section (I can’t identify where these are from, so I will just avoid any risk at all and let you find out for yourselves).
On disk three, the last track, “In Meditation On The Death of Christ”, is the longest one on the album. Clocking in at 14 minutes, it is a great finale. I’m always critical of final tracks, because it is the last chance for the band to make a lasting statement. All the signature elements are here, from slow and grooving guitar riffs to thundering double bass drumming to mournful melody lines. Towards the end of the track, the song shifts between ambient, eerie music and the band’s trademark death metal sound before ending with final growling of “Domedon Doxomedon” and with an air of finality “It is finished”. The album finishes on a light acoustic guitar solo, but a subtle arcane drone underneath it all to give it a sense of uneasiness.
For all the things this album gets right, it is not without its faults. While there are nine actual songs (not musical interludes), these do drag after a while, which makes this album somewhat difficult to listen to. At times, it feels as if this could have been compressed into one disk, but I understand the artistic direction. While there is a lot of variety with the temples and gates, there is definitely room for more variety in the death metal tracks, whether that be tempo or melody. But these are only minor complaints. I’m a sucker for concept records and music that is focused on something so mysterious and dark and that’s why I tend to find more of the good and overlook the bad.
1. Temple I – Zohar of the Sky
2. I Am Christ
3. Gate of Sooun
4. Temple II – Cistern of Bethlehem
5. Tombstone Chapel
6. Gate of Damihyron
7. Temple III – Helper of YHVH
8. He Doth Mourn In Hell
9. Gate of Aion Tsevaoth
10. Temple IV – Oracle of Men
11. Seven Altars Burn In Sin
12. Gate of Arba-Hemon
13. Temple V – Bereshit
14. Exiled In Transformation
15. Gate of Behet-Myron
16. Temple VI – Weight of Gold
17. The Heart of King Solomon In Sorcery
18. Gate of Sulam
19. Temple VII – Alive In Sheol
20. The Guilt They Bore
21. Gate of Jedumijron
22. Temple VIII – Smoke In Fire
24. Gate of Dimitrijon
25. Temple IX – Redeemer of Zion
26. In Meditation on the Death of Christ
27. Gate of Ea On
Total Play Time: 113:06