Album Review: Death Courier – Necrotic Verses

Album Review: Death Courier - Necrotic Verses

Album Review: Death Courier - Necrotic Verses
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

Originally formed in 1987 by Billy Poulas, Death Courier hail from Patras in Greece and are credited as one of the earliest death metal bands on the Greek metal scene. The band released several demos before their debut album ‘Demise’ arrived in 1992. The band split the following year and remained dormant until 2009 when Bill hauled the band up from the crypt. Original guitarist Theo passed after a heart attack in 2012 and although he had not rejoined the band in 2009, Bill recruiting Vermingod’s Giorgis Petousis who remains in the band to this day. 2013 saw the band’s second album, ‘Perimortem’ released. A further change in the line-up in 2014 saw Vermingod drummer Ilias Iliopoulos join. After a further split EP and live album, the time has come for the third album, ‘Necrotic Verses’.

Album Review: Death Courier - Necrotic Verses

One of the joys of Greek metal is the sheer intensity in which they approach it. The highly religious environment clearly causes a push back and in ‘Necrotic Verses’ we get 33 minutes of ugly, raw and visceral thrash/death metal which simply levels. Opening with the title track, it’s time to strap in for the ride. An explosion of ferocity, the riffing, battery drumming and slicing shredding pins you to the wall. Bill’s punishing bass and death growls add to the maelstrom. This is a track that sets out the blueprint for the album and whilst it’s not new in style, the sheer power is massively encouraging. A slowing of pace does not release any of the intense brutality on display, and the actual pace adjustment creates an even heavier feel.

Once you’ve recovered from this face melting introduction, enjoying the next 30 minutes is simple. Death Courier grip you by the lapels and throw you against the wall, all in the best possible taste of course. ‘When Death Fits to Skin’ is a huge track, the band working together in harmony with ample palm muting, double kicks, and blast beats. The production is solid. The band employ a time-honoured approach with ‘When Death Fits to Skin’ segueing into the haunting two-minute ‘Interlude’, an eerie sinister instrumental which allows a breath before erupting into ‘Pillars of Murk’. This is a slightly less frenetic track to begin with but soon expands into more brutality.

Whilst the album is reasonably short in length, the quality is decent with most songs well-crafted and punishing in delivery. Penultimate track ‘Visceral Slice’ leads to the closing song, ‘Remnants’, a towering six-minute plus track that begins with a brooding, crushing opening, the double bass kicks and tremolo riffing giving way to an aural assault that will horrify the neighbours should you decide to seek revenge for weeks of high volume Ed Sheeran.

‘Necrotic Verses’ is gnarly; it’s old school and it contains a rabid hunger that isn’t always evident in modern metal. If you enjoy Obituary, Malevolent Creation, Asphyx and the like, ‘Necrotic Verses’ should be on your ‘must-listen’ list shortly.

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