Metal was weird before. Like, really weird. But over its many decades, as the art form matured and increasingly creative subgenres were mined for new sonic gold, the impact of metal’s weirder side wore off as that the doghouse was becoming the norm. Fusing death metal with humppa music, while singing about trolls? Complitly normal. An avant-garde jazz band turned metal, filled with screaming saxophones? Standard. J-pop melodies fading to searing riffs accompanied by carefully choreographed dance routines? Please, that’s such an old hat.

Somewhere among the splendor of metal’s foreign corners lies NEKROGBLIKON, a goblin-themed melodeath band that meets every other genre – naturally. Basically, with their assortment of competing musical influences, from EDM and electro, to pop and extreme metal, NEKROGBLIKON stand as a unique and strange outfit. Equally surprising is the fact that Loud Goblin enthusiasts have continued to put out solid releases since their track. no one survives exploded nearly a decade ago; their last, Slimes and Basic Moods is perhaps the pinnacle of their discography to date.

NEKROGBLIKONThe genre-breaking take on the genre is in full effect from the album’s steamy opener Currently– a song that finds a way to skillfully marry guttural screams with major synth tracks that wouldn’t be out of place in a sonic the hedgehog Game. This sets the tone for an album that sees the band leaning slightly more into their melodic side, actively digging up hooks that were previously a bit more buried in the chaotic music. Numbers like golden future and Supernovas (exploding in space) relying on big, carefully crafted choruses that provide a great counterbalance to the aggressive, manic barking and twisting riffs of the songs’ verses. Likewise, That’s it – one of arguably the most “traditional” metal tracks on the album – is sure to bury itself in the annals of your mind thanks to its repetitive vocal parts. Slimes and Basic Moods is generously packed with memorable synth parts, vocal choruses and guitar riffs that guarantee it will stay lodged in your ears long after the record is over.

That’s not to say the goblin-themed outfit has ditched its heavier roots. NEKROGBLIKON show off their skill at balancing electronica-tinged melody and crunchy guitars throughout Slimes and Basic Moods. Take yina piece of melodic death metal accompanied by Yuzo Koshiro-saw threads inspired, or Bones which sees punchy techno synths backed by blowing bass guitars in an industrial vibe similar to PAIN Where COMBICHRIST. A lesson in hate on the other hand recalls the classic FINNTROLL, bouncing with the same powerfully hostile humppa beats before launching into a dark, heavy chorus of death metal – the accordions never sounded so menacing. Throughout, the impeccably clean production ensures that the heavyweight of the band’s most impactful moments doesn’t get lost under layers of snappy nonsense, either.

If the album was only strange mixtures of genres and aggressiveness, it would already be a lot. But what really does Slimes and Basic Moods shining is the sense of humor that emerges from both the music and the lyrical content throughout. Musically, Gonna die is hilarious, somehow incorporating deadly influences, power metal, DREAM THEATER-esque keyboard solos and what can only be described as a tribute to WEIRD ALpolka medleys in its five-minute running time. The lyrics match the instrumental ridiculousness, culminating with a Arnold Schwarzenegger stylish vocals leading a sort of musical march to the end (at this point in the album, you won’t flinch how ridiculous it is).

When presented as hard, cold text, some NEKROGOLBIKONThe sarcastic and idiosyncratic lyrics of may read like the diary of a pissed off teenager, but against the backdrop of equally over-the-top music, it’s hard not to smile. Verses like “supernovas are exploding in space and i’m stuck here wasting away with the rest of my race” are like the metal equivalent to 6 ELECTRICThe knowing discography winks, and something sorely lacking across metal as a whole.

NEKROGBLIKONThe chaotic approach to the clash of genres and their irreverent sense of humor will not appeal to everyone. But for those who get it, Slimes and Basic Moods is a ride from start to finish.

Rating: 8/10

The Fundamental Slimes And Humors is slated for release on April 1 via self-publishing.

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