NECRONOMICON – The Return of the Witch
“The Return of the Witch” is the third full length offering from Canada’s Necronomicon.
Although the first track "Into the Fire" is a pretty brutal opener, what we have on offer is a slab of highly polished and quite accessible blackened death metal. The songs are generally mid-paced, aiming to draw the listener in with catchy riffs rather than by conjuring bleak atmospheres or bludgeoning us into submission with torrents of blast-beats.It is an effective strategy. Every song has a well-crafted hook to make it stand out and keep it on the playlist.
On the whole, though, “The Return of the Witch” is a bit too conservative, a little too ordinary to gain really high marks. Necronomicon have taken risks on the album, but because the production is so clean and the song writing and playing so tight, it all feels slightly contrived. Where is the fire, anger and the energy that draws us to this kind of music in the first place? Perhaps they’ve been produced off the page and we need to see Necronomicon live to really appreciate what they are trying to do. Perhaps they didn’t exist in the first place. It is difficult to tell from this release.
There is plenty to enjoy about “The Return of the Witch” and enough to make you return to it in the short term at least. Ultimately though, it feels a little too tame, safe and commercial. While you won’t be disappointed by this album, my advice would be to wait for the next release or get out and catch them live.