Nekrogoblikon - Power (EP) (2013)


If you've had a recurring nightmare in which Gremlins or creatures crawl through your wall outlets in an effort to feast on your flesh or the flesh of your pets, now would be the appropriate time to turn away. Your fears will only get worse. But for those of us that need to step away from the norm, and venture into a new metal alley way, the brotherhood of goblins known as Nekrogoblikon may be the tour guides you've waited for. Not everything metal has to be serious and poignant; political and religious opinions do not define our genre, regardless of what the narrow minded few might believe. When the combination black, folk, melodic death metal sounds started emanating from Los Angeles in 2006, it was only a matter of time before they became a global epidemic, infecting all of us with their ridiculous lyrical content and infectious grooves. But now some seven years later, the journey is still only getting started. On their new EP, titled "Power," the merry monsters of Nekrogoblikon have come to put a smile on that face, you frowny biscuit.

It cannot be mentioned enough that the lyrics will come in handy on this journey, beginning with "Friends (in Space)." Sure, the screeched blackened vocals will catch your fancy with or without the aid of actual concrete words, but they deserve to be heard. Because over top of a battery of guitars, crunching riffs, and some amazingly in depth keyboard work, you'll find such gems as "Stuff, stuff in space, lots of stuff!
Three dwarf, four dwarf, black hole, fuck you!" Tongue in cheek, but wholly enjoyable and brutally delivered. Following the end of mankind, "Nothing But Crickets" is exactly what you would expect. This is, of course, the battle song of the cricket revolution. Drummer Bready hammers down a marching beat that would make our new chirping assassins proud, while guitarists Tim Lyakhovetskiy and Goldberg shred their way through some bizarrely timed solos. Somehow, this concoction of chirping and blackened folk works wonders, drawing you in with each passing verse. Vocalist and keyboardist extraordinaire Nicholas Von Doom captivates you, whether that be through talent or mind control; the jury is still out on that one.

The first single off the EP, "Powercore," may be the most devastating instrumental on the album, but also the most folk inspired. With a catchy hook found in both verse and chorus, there is no chance of escaping. Throw in what is a great keyboard-to-guitar solo trade off, and you have a track that is unforgettable. It also reminds us that you are truly awful, perhaps even "More worthless than a dumpster filled with pogs." Ouch. That aside, it is impossible to ignore the talent that is collected in this band of fiends. It seems almost wrong for songs with such dark tones and vocals to be this intoxicating, but they do it one again on "Bells & Whistles." It isn't just for a lyrical show, either (though that is a definite); The avant instrumentation, from xylophone to glockenspiel. The beautiful clean outro might come as a surprise, but it is no preparation for the album closer. The aptly titled "Giraffe" is like nothing you've heard here or anywhere else this year. Combining the catchy riffs and mood of a punk song with lyrics that could only be classified as off the wall, this redefines bizarre. With the sound of an accordion blaring out, they decide not to mourn over the dead giraffe, but merely exclaim, "Fuck it! Goblins forever!"

I feel perfectly comfortable admitting that we, both at Sorrow Eternal and the metal brotherhood as a whole, take ourselves and our musical choices way too seriously. We fight, we argue, we complain. Yet, as we do that, we let too many good bands pass us by. Nekrogoblikon might just be the cure for what ails us. One part humor, one part serious metal musicianship, they have the right combination to make an EP that can be enjoyed for fun, or when you are pitting yourself against the world. That rare combination of style and substance makes for a great listen, and an even better water cooler conversation the next day. After all, if you aren't working in a place where goblin metal and various forms of debauchery are acceptable, it might be time to find a new career. At any rate, the EP simply dubbed "Power" is as thrilling as the artwork that accompanies it, and as mind boggling as the lyrics that it contains. So if you have the ability to remove the permanent scowl from your face, the cynical attitude from your head, it might be time to shift gears and go to space. Bring a friend.

9/10

Bandcamp - http://nekrogoblikon.bandcamp.com/
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/nekrogoblikon