REVIEW: NECROMANCING THE STONE – “Jewel Of The Vile”
Necromancing the Stone features some heavy hitters from the rock and metal worlds with “Big” John Williams (vocals) and Justin Wood (guitars) coming from Brimstone Coven, James Malone (guitars) from Arsis, Ryan Williams (bass) ex-member of Black Dahlia Murder, and Jeramie Kling (drums) from the mighty Absence. Their work on ‘Jewel of the Vile’ is a testament to their love of metal music. Especially in metal that strikes to the core of what we all love about great metal music; soaring and expressive vocals, fist clenching riffs, technically rich yet melodic guitar solos, and explosively percussive rhythms.
There is something to savor and enjoy in each of the 11 tracks that adorn this slab of molten metal. “Crusher” sets the bar high with stories of wizards set to driving riffs fueled by punishing drums. The guitar solo is tight and expressive with just enough shred to toss your salad just the way you like it. “Bleed for the Night” evokes a bit of Dioor Ozzy with a boatload of pinch harmonic squeals to accent the metallic vibe of this succubus tale. Death growls are used with great effect to accentuate the terror. The mid-paced “The Descent” is overflowing with head-banging riffs topped off with a dynamite blues-tinted solo that then flies into a frantically tapped arpeggio lick. Watch out, for this lick could melt steel.
The mountains of riffs and the herculean rhythms are just the tip of the iceberg on Necromancing the Stone’s Jewel of the Vile. The guitar solos are extraordinary. One taste of the brilliant solo on “Rotted Reunion” will capture your heart. The phrasing is impeccable and the licks capture the desperation of the song. Speaking of guitar solos, listeners get a treat with the mesmerizing and melodic solo on “Ritualistic Demise” courtesy of guest guitarist Taylor Nordberg (The Absence). The same goes for the serpentine licks of Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy) who plays a spellbinding solo on “The Old One”.
Jewel of the Vile keeps delivering the goods with the charging riffs of “Unfinished Business” which evoke a sense of Iron Maiden had they teamed up with Heartwork-era Carcass. “Honor Thy Prophet” is bathed in double-kick flurries and superb vocals that reach for the heavens. Those of you who already know Necromancing the Stone through their EP in 2014, will immediately recognize “From Graves to Infamy” with it triplet based battle riffs, death metal bridge, and unrepentant rage. Necromancing the Stone finishes up Jewel of the Vile with some NWOBHM nostalgia on the tune “The Battle of Morningstar”. This is a classic metal tune that harkens to the days of Saxon and Tokyo Blade with heroic vocals and a battering onslaught of riffs that force you to bang your head and throw the horns high.
‘Jewel of the Vile’ is a gem-laden stash of visceral metal music crafted in the forges of Hell. Necromancing the Stone mercilessly unleashes a barrage of beautifully brutal metal music on Jewel of the Vile. This is pure metal. Categories are useless in trying to define this masterpiece of jaw clenching sonic fury. This album is a love affair with all that is grand and compelling about metal music. Enjoy this album crafted from the heart of musicians who deeply care for this wonderful musical art form we call heavy metal.