For the past few years, we have been in the midst of an influx of high-quality underground bands. Most of these bands are stemming from varying sub genres of Doom, Stoner, and Psychedelic Rock. Bands such as Vokonis, Wo Fat, and Mothership are a few of these heavy hitters, and they are finding themselves in a wonderful position by the sheer amount of interest from the music community. Ripple Music has been at the forefront of this movement, and they have acquired another outstanding band in The Necromancers, whose monstrous debut album Servants of the Salem Girl upon the public within the coming week.
I’m going to begin this review with one important statement. This album is absolutely stunning! I could end it there, but I need to explain why this album is without a doubt in my personal top-10 albums of the year. This album does everything right, and the best part of Servants of the Salem Girl is its simplicity. The Necromancer’s album doesn’t rely on over-the-top production techniques or complicated songwriting. Picture a photograph with a majestic willow tree in a big open field with a nice decorative frame. The picture is simple, but you notice that while the frame is nice and the gallery it’s hung in is impressive, the true beauty of the image is the tree itself. The Necromancers are the tree in this comparison.
Specifically, their sound is unique in terms of tone. The guitars are fuzzy but retain a cleanness that you don’t see many bands experiment with very often. The bass fills the space nicely, and it compliments the guitars well. The drums have a very natural tone, and they sound huge (especially in “Black Marble House”). The vocals are gruff, but I cannot picture a better-suited vocalist than Tom Cornière. The most important feature of Servants of the Salem Girl is the reverb. Along with the clean tones, the reverb gives the overall sound a lot more space, and it adds an emotional element that I’ve never experienced before in heavy music.
There are six tracks in Servants of the Salem Girl. The album begins with “Salem Girl Part 1,” and the track starts off with a lone fuzzy guitar that leads with a harmonizing clean guitar behind it. The track builds into a driving beat with a very prominent melody that carries into a clean verse. The track has a definite progressive rock feel that is executed in a way that most bands don’t have the guts to dive into. Second track “Lucifer’s Kin” begins in a very standard Black Sabbath/Sleep type of way where the guitar establishes a dominant slow riff and leads into several different variations. The track progresses into another driving beat that is very catchy, and the simplistic nature of the riff makes you wonder how no one came up with it before now. “Black Marble House” is the third track on Servants of the Salem Girl, and it’s one of the best displays on the record. I haven’t heard a rock song this perfect in a long time, and it’s seriously one of my favorite tracks of the year. The Necromancers show some of their southern influences in their namesake track “Necromancers,” and they show some Tool-ish style of progressive rock in “Grand Orbiter.” The final track, “Salem Girl Part 2” showcases some of The Necromancer’s heaviest moments of Servants of the Salem Girl, and the way they conclude the record leaves you satisfied and excited for their future endeavors.
In conclusion, Servants of the Salem Girl is a precious work of art, and Ripple Music knows a masterpiece when they see one. The tone of the album is spot on and the shining star is the cleanness of the record. Its simplistic nature brings a fresh and creative approach to modern heavy underground music. The songwriting is smart and the sinister vibe at times is intriguing, all while tapping into a uniqueness that is exclusive to The Necromancers. I love this album from start to finish, and I encourage everyone to purchase a copy. Do not sleep on this!
Servants of the Salem Girl will have an limited edition, multi-coloured vinyl and black vinyl editions. There will also be CD and digital copies available as well.
The Necromancer’s debut album releases on August 18th via Ripple Music.
Vist their Facebook Page here.