Aside from the ‘book of the dead’ itself the world has had quite a few Necronomicons running around the heavy metal scene. The Montreal, Canada-based one was formed as early as 1988 in the Saguenay region of Canada. The band of Rob “The Witch” Tremblay happened onto the scene with the 1992 demo, Morbid Ritual. At this stage the band had a full line-up. For 1996’s The Silver Key Rob played bass and sang and his girlfriend Catherine played guitars. It was recorded at Studio Victor with Obliveon’s Pierre Remillard. Canada-based Hypnotic Records signed the band for its debut record, Pharaoh Of Gods. This went nowhere and the man signed with another Canada-based label, Skyscraper Records. Maurizio of Kataklysm owned this label. The band toured with Kataklysm and Blood Of Christ. Bassist Fredrich came and went. The Sacred Medicines did not feature Catherine anymore. It did feature two members of Water Depth. Third album was on a third label, this time a serious one. Diego D left. Still, the fourth album was on a fourth label. Members were still coming and going. The title hinted at the same themes as Montreal’s other death metal band, Kataklysm. Necronomicon was founded initially as Cataclysm. The band supported Deicide on the No Salvation Tour 2013 in October. The first annual New Orleans Metal Festival took place September 23-26 2016 at the Siberia Music Club and featured Marduk, Necronomicon, Rotting Christ and others. These bands were also on tour together.
Rob attributes many of the lyrical themes in the band to his mother marrying a shaman. The Sacred Medicines featured native singers. The earlier German band of the same name plays thrash metal band and was also at the Barge To Hell meaning two Necronomicons were booked.
NECRONOMICON - THE SACRED MEDICINES - SKYSCRAPER
Necronomicon albums do not appear too often, but they are seemingly real treats when they do. The Montreal-based band is a suitable choice for the many who liked earlier Morbid Angel and have grown disenchanted with the Americans lack of energy and intensity as of late. Within the context of an album all about spiritual healing, the trio delivers clean and well-played metal that is fast, heavy and well-constructed. The vocals are fierce, the guitars clear and the solos brilliant. The rest of the band does an admirable job delivering the metallic goods as well. Nevertheless, the band has included one too many instrumental intros and could have incorporated rhythm guitars of more complexity and better construct. That is what one gets with a band whose sole guitarist is also the singer though. Having said that, The Sacred Medicines is a great choice for fans of the heavier end of the spectrum. - Ali "The Metallian"
NECRONOMICON - THE SILVER KEY
Formed in ’91 as Cataclysm, and quickly renaming themselves after the mystic book, the morbid unit managed a rehearsal tape to hold us over until the mid-mark of the decade, which brings us to the first real demonstration, tape of the Canadian trio. Recorded under professional conditions, Necronomicon’s most overt influence, namely the Morbid Angel-ish riffs, hit hard right from the opening moments of the tape. Listen to The Silver Key with its operatic bridge, as well as its harmonies. The percussion is occasionally reminiscent of Mike Susa, circa Seven Churches, in that its shreds the songs into pieces here and there. Often the sticks dance around the kit with incredible fluidity signalling a clean and agile proficiency. The sound on the bass drum and snare is amazing. Yet, and this is the key, they never lose sight of the fact that the end is heaviness. Still, the band overdoses on Morbid Angel, a fact that is all too obvious and unfortunate. On The Witch, the band possesses a vocalist who exudes the necessary evil in this type of metal. Overall, then we have a successful, if not original, recording. One sincerely hopes that the reports of the band’s recent yield to trends of the day (i.e. so-called atmospheric elements) are exaggerated. Whichever the case, The Silver Key in itself is another component of the great Canadian metal scene. - Ali “The Metallian”