Review: Nekrogoblikon – Welcome To Bonkers 8.5

  • Nekrogoblikon
  • Welcome To Bonkers
  • Melodic Death Metal/Avant-garde
  • USA
  • 2018
  • 8.5/10

Bandcamp

Nekrogoblikon are obviously about having fun with music and they still have done alright with reviews in the past, mostly getting through with high scores. I dig their approach, it’s a classic heavy metal sound with a lot of modern techniques and ideas thrown in. It borders on avant-garde in the vein of UneXpect but is just tight enough to be a serious composition. They have some good song writing that takes them above the meme they embody in their public personas and music videos. There’s some real poppy hooks like you’d expect from British rockers The Darkness.

This artwork is by Dr Knudson – Instagram and I love the use of shading here. It’s also busy but all very defined. It’s a favorite of mine for sure.

I walked into this expecting to be amused and nothing much else, but I can actually see myself listening to this a fair bit. After listening to Lordi earlier this feels like a heavier rendition of that, more along the lines of what I was hoping to get out of Lordi anyway. Nekrogoblikon always carries its humor around on its sleeve but this album has some seriously talented moments. Some bright sounding metal that uses finesse and complexity to create a “joke”. I feel like they choose to make this sort of music but, could very well make anything.

The choruses are where this album excels. It gets big and chantey in its delivery of the catchy lyrics during the chorus where you want to both jump around and sing along. It does well to call-back to earlier riffs and inflections. Every time you start a new track, you can never be completely sure what you will be hearing. They keep it exciting and varied. The track Dragons has one of the grooviest keyboard introductions I’ve ever heard and continues with the keys as a central theme to the track, screaming over the top with elongated notes that sound almost like warped audio. The whole track could be a Sonic the Hedgehog level on meth.

Vocally they show a bit of range with Children Of Bodom like growls and shrieks being the norm but there is also a lot of cleaner vocals on display as well, even going as far as sounding like stuff out of good prog metal albums. The keys almost seem to egg the guitar on in a musical game of HORSE. It’s like the keys are playing and then saying, “see if you can do that” and then the guitars do it and they play again.

We’ve all heard a lot of meme bands and parody bands, but this is the best balance between parody and actual metal I’ve heard in a long time. Overall, it’s a polished record with little flaws. Something about it being heavy AND goofy gives me a reverence for this sound.

 

 

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