NIGROMANCIA – Hidden Rituals (2021)REVIEW

Hailing from the Maipo province south of Santiago and featuring a strong cross-section of musicians from a number of underground black, death, and thrash metal acts ‘old school’ obsessed death/thrash metal quintet Nigromancia have put a lot of care and good taste into this their debut EP release, which was originally only made available on cassette tape in late June of this year. ‘Hidden Rituals‘ doesn’t beg for a mile deep entrench on our part, doesn’t have a major story to tell, and isn’t likely anything you’ve never heard before. In fact, I’d figure that is probably the point — To lock into a purist death metal sound and give it a characteristically Chilean fury-storm in delivery. They’ve riffs a-firing throughout, some fantastic cover artwork from the untouchable portfolio of Daniel Hermosillo, and a simple but effective take on thrashing late 80’s/early 90’s South American death metal results as we observe the whole of the experience. As a debut statement Nigromancia couldn’t possibly make a better impression than this, simple and true death metal music with timeless, obviate appeal.

Obsessed with the occult and ancient death metal ways, Nigromancia formed in 2019 to further their proposed mission statement of death metal infused with hatred and black magic which we can more-or-less align with some of the member’s associated bands (Rebirth in Flames) some nearby killers (Oraculum) and basically the Germanic vision of occult conjured Asphyx-esque death metal via Excoriate or, to some degree the bloodier new breed a la Evoked and Sanctifying Ritual if you need more current references. The drummer here “Dismember” from Australis-signed melodic death metal band Letargo must be heavily influenced by the early Pestilence and Morgoth train of thought as they upped the ante beyond ‘Scream Bloody Gore’; His performance is both the characteristic anchor for the experience and a small rough spot for my ears since the double-bass drum hits need to be tweaked just enough to not interfere with the reverb of the vocals. For underground death metal it is just fine but, it was the one aspect of the record that wasn’t perfect.

The leads that shred all over blast-happy opener “Necromancy” had me thinking Nigromancia were more of a black/death metal band to start but they’re not so much blackened as they are in tune with bestial death/thrash metal ideas, performances that convey extremes by should still appeal to folks stuck on the late 80’s/early 90’s standards of kinetic performance within South American death metal. The “thrash then blast” dynamic that the majority of the songs on this EP becomes evident once we cross over into “Vomiting Death” and it isn’t long before the title track finds the guitarists whipping their whammy skills out, pick scraping out transitions, and wailing all over the record; It isn’t exactly 90’s Mortem (Peru) just yet but fans will be in the absolute right headspace with them in mind approaching this record. “Flame of Death” is the song that sealed the deal for my taste by way of the vocalist’s maniac performance and the whole band kind of nuking it as the big send-off before a solo bass piece plays us out atop tormented screaming souls. At just over 25 minutes and six songs Nigromancia make a great case for not overthinking classic death metal expression on ‘Hidden Rituals’, chunking out a few big riffs per song, playing their asses off, and making sure their vocalist is wild enough to be memorable. Sure, they could do more with this sound but so far they’ve convinced me to keep listening as is. A moderately high recommendation.

Moderately high recommendation. (75/100)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
TITLE:Hidden Rituals
LABEL(S):Burning Coffin Records
RELEASE DATE:August 15th, 2021 [CD, Digital]
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp
GENRE(S):Death Metal,
Death/Thrash Metal

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