Release on 04.11.2016 via Bad Afro Records
There are just some bands that need to exist for certain purposes. Narcosatanicos is a group that I truly believe exist to jump inside your body, possess you for the duration of a record or a live concert, fuck shit up, and then leave – however not clean up completely after themselves – forcing you, the listener to do a little maintenance on your soul after the visit.
Listening to the new record “Body Cults”, while freezing autumn rain washes any traces of the Aarhus ‘summer’ away is a good setting. With the announcement as well now reaching our city that there are warnings of sightings of knife wielding psychopath clowns from east Jutland police – and with Halloween and the day of the dead all looming around the release of this album – it all has to be taken into consideration. The band is named after a Mexican death worshipping drug cult. This ain’t no copycat American fad like terrorizing school zones with costumes either; this music has real teeth that will hurt you if you’re not careful.
From the get-go with opener, “Vulvic Church”, one can see that the band has distilled their sound from their 1st record (2012’s self-titled) and wrangled their wall of white noise into something that is easily recognizable as good production and a tune with distinguished parts. I’m not saying that they are in any way approaching something that would be on heavy rotation on P3 (mainstream pop radio), but there is something very comforting about the fact that I can call at least “Vulvic Church” a metal song, that opens with a wailing saxophone.
The aural onslaught continues with their lead-off single “Vile”. Syncopated drums, crunchy attacks on the guitar, buried monastic sounding harmonies and even a touch of eastern or gypsy undertones with the guitar doubling the sax. All of this in the first pass at a verse. This is definitely not an improvised and meandering band, at least in the studio anymore. They’re actually tight. Well – I mean…it’s not Rush but you get my drift.
The shortest track on the record (just shy of 4.00) is “Mania”, which changes gear a little bit into jazzier territory at first, before shifting into a terror filled chorus of cacophony. Again, when I say “Jazzy” – I don’t mean Michael Bublé, I mean more Zappa/Beefheart on meth. You won’t even notice being lead in to next track, “Television Dreams” – as it continues with the passage from “Mania” (a move that had me scratching my head admittedly and wondering if there was something wrong with the files the label sent us) and moves into seemingly a different cut – almost as if it were a ‘suite’. Again, the record is definitely carefully mapped out – and its little things like confusing the listener intentionally that will blow your mind – especially if you’re fucked up already, which I guess is possible for some of the intended audience.
“Matamoros” is as close as we get to straight up acid-jazz. It meanders a bit, however serves as a palette cleanser and appropriate mood music before the pounding “Void Kink” – with its dash of math-rock, Kraut-rock and stoner metal. You see – this record is really one-stop shopping for all your sub-genre needs.
The record closes with the 9.00 plus track entitled “Bliss”. Dissonant chords, noise crescendos and more of the trademark sax work is the opening gambit here before ascending into what sounds like an air raid until a moment of calm before chugging into a motorik-style vibe of math-kraut (Neu!, Can) and noise. “Bliss” just builds and builds and just when you think there isn’t any gas left in the tank, the band his the NOz, launching it into overdrive before a coda of noise finishes the track, the record, and the return of Narcosatanicos’s second chapter.
Seriously, I can’t wait to see where they take these new pieces (I have reservations even demeaning this record by calling these “songs) in a live setting. I have seen them a handful of times, and it really must be witnessed to be understood. Narcosatanicos have taken the best of all the genres that they love and pieced them together into something that is completely original, horrifying, challenging and rewarding to invest your time in hearing on record. Unlike most of the bands or artists coming out of Aarhus right now – this isn’t some retro copy-cat stuff that you can dress up for. This is proper Halloween with all sorts of weird shit going on and I like it.
Listening to the new record “Body Cults”, while freezing autumn rain washes any traces of the Aarhus ‘summer’ away is a good setting. To sum up, the band, named after a Mexican death worshipping drug cult, ain’t no copycat American fad like terrorizing school zones in a clown costume or something; The music of Narcosatanicos - and the Bad Cults album - has real teeth that will hurt you if you are not careful. That is a good thing! (4.5/6)