Necropsyk | The Hell of Icarus (TFOI Deluxe Edition) (review)

Necropsyk 'The Hell of Icarus' cover artwork

Necropsyk ‘The Hell of Icarus’ cover artwork.

The Hell of Icarus is the deluxe version of Necropsyk’s 2nd full-length album The Fall Of Icarus. This deluxe version includes 3 bonus tracks not included on the standard version, including Necropsyk’s remix of :wumpscut:’s “Furunkel Lolita”, which was featured on the :wumpscut: promo release DJ Dwarf 14. Necropsyk’s self-released albums can be purchased on bandcamp in electronic format, as the band has already decided to forego physical releases due to cost.

Hailing from the unlikely location of Boise, Idaho Necropsyk bill themselves as some type of industrial metal band, which is reinforced by their sinister band logo and album artwork. Stylistically, though, I’d say the band’s releases so far fit more comfortably within the hellelectro framework. Like many newer bands, they seem to also be incorporating elements from newer techno genres such as EDM (the whole “waiting for the drop” element), along with the skips and stutters that characterize dubstep.

Unlike many other hellelectro/aggrotech bands out there, Necropsyk differentiate themselves in that they are an actual band playing traditional rock instruments, at least in a live setting. On studio releases, frontman Osiris Morte has played all instruments on albums to date (up to and including the newest release, 2014’s The Chaos Breed), with the drums and bass sounds being programmed, but utilizing actual (non-programmed) guitars. The band’s next release Freakshow will feature a full band and will presumably fit more of a metal mold musically.

On most songs of The Hell of Icarus, the metal aesthetic is fairly low-key, simply the use of accent guitars, artfully distorted to fit within an electronic sound without overpowering. However, on some songs, such as “Optivus Callixtus”, the band opts for a pure metal band sound, with the noticeably electronic elements fading into the background. Of course, as stated previously, Osiris Morte has been creating all studio music himself, so the “band” sound to date is an illusion, although a convincing one.

For me, the hellelectro sound can be quite tedious after awhile, since there are so many bands out there and originality is falling by the wayside. Thankfully, Necropsyk manages to breathe new life into a genre that’s become quite predictable. The band at their best compare favourably to amGod’s legendary debut album Half Rotten And Decayed, which took the classic dark electro sound and infused it with death metal-style guitars courtesy of Mark Edward Astorian of the mysterious Munich-based one-man band Traumatic Voyage. Necropsyk also reminds me of Latin American acts such as Hocico and Bestias De Asalto.

Stand-out tracks include the Marilyn Manson-like dirge “Lull Of Valentines And Valkyrie”, the symphonic-metal of “The Black Plague”, the infectious “A Calling Ungodly” and the frantic dubstep remix of “We The Keepers Of Faith” by Terminal Reactor Among the exclusive tracks unique to this deluxe release, the band’s remix of :wumpscut:’s “Furunkel Lolita” hits hard with a gabber-style beat destined for the dancefloor. “Bring Forth The Apocalpyse” has a primitive black metal sound, although clearly electronic-based, but is perhaps a hint of what’s to come with the band’s future fully instrumental metal sound.

Overall, there’s much to like with this release and I’m left intrigued to hear what direction the band will take next. The meeting point between genres such as hellelectro and black metal is an intriguing one, one that I feel leaves much room for growth and exploration. I have a feeling that once Necropsyk transitions into a more traditional metal band that we’ll be hearing a lot more from them, both in terms of increasing popularity and a more robust sound. That does not detract, however, from the band’s early releases which are remarkably polished and professional.

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