Come drudge through the mucky waters of the death doom cave with Nekus and their debut record Death Nova Upon the Barren Harvest. Hailing from Germany, Nekus is a talented trio of faceless, nameless beings, proving their expertise in the hybrid genre and making it their own. This four-track, 28-minute-long “mini album” is the perfect introduction to this new band and their unique, gritty, and haunting approach to metal.
The album opens with swarming static-like guitar that introduces a steady drum beat—building anticipation and hype. That anticipation is satisfied moments later when cymbals crash and burst into furious drumming and guttural echoing vocals are growled. These elements are heard throughout the four tracks, resulting in a unified album which could be mistaken for one long song. While these sounds are recognized in all four tracks, the album does not lack variety, at all. The most punishing of the four, “Putrid Harvester,” introduces some reverberating and jarring guitar chords in the background muddled with the ever-present static, creating a dirty discord of instrumentation amongst the zombie-like snarls. The trio describes their style as “necromancy death/doom” and that description feels spot-on and especially present in this track. The swirling evocative sounds feel as though the band is trying to reach into another dimension. The following song also delves into this genre, aptly titled “Necromancer’s Death Chant,” as it showcases the band’s doom influence with low-tune droning guitar and stretched-out, ghastly ghost-like growls.
The final piece, “Dagger of the Corrupter,” is the longest of the album spanning 10 minutes. Clean, haunting, chant-like vocals are introduced here along with some echoing moans adding to the vocal variety and capabilities of the band. All the elements of the previous four tracks are welcomed back in this closer, tying the album up neatly. Death Nova Upon the Barren Harvest ends with fury—blast beat chaotic drumming, the angriest of growls, and frantic guitar—before fading out on an echoing riff that dissipates into blackness.
Death Nova Upon the Barren Harvest is a snapshot of Nekus and their dark gruesome world. They sprung onto the scene with no warning and little is known about the group. The taste from this mini album is putrid in the best possible way and I am craving so much more. I look forward to a full-length release in the future from this band shrouded in mystery.