The New Jersey-based collective NVNM has already established itself as a factory for high-quality demos and projects over the past several years. The extreme metal community is benefitted by both their remarkable quantity and quality because the musicians involved understand that “DIY” is more than just an excuse to save money on releasing music. Almost everything that I’ve heard from this collective has been memorable because of its simplicity, not in spite of it; the Black Book of Necromancer demo is hardly an exception.
The first two demos from the Damnation Lust project already provided a fair amount of insight into the direction that the musicians (going by “Inverter” and “Deciever” respectively) had planned for it. All there is to it is an ethereal, synth-heavy soundscape punctured by hard-hitting, mid-paced riffs, both of which are supported and driven forward by the playful and focused percussion ringing out from the background. The song formula is even simpler still: the demo is presented as a predictable dichotomy between hauntingly repetitive slow-paced riff-fests and blisteringly chaotic sonic assaults, both of which are bolstered by the contrast between the buzzy guitar tone and relatively clear drum sound. But it’s this simplicity that’s able to draw the listener in with hypnotically inviting tendrils, only to maintain a firm and unrelenting grasp on their focus for the rest of time… or realistically, for twelve minutes, but that’s still pretty impressive.
The Beherit-influenced black metal sound marked by plodding riffs and whispery screams seems to be coming back into fashion, but Black Book of Necromancer is hardly the result of trend-hopping. If NVNM wasn’t already on your radar, then let this cryptic collection of death-infused black metal be the thing to change that.