Thursday, July 27, 2023

Non Serviam - The Witches Sabbath (2000)

Necrotical was obviously not meant to be the end of Non Serviam's trajectory, as they released another single around the turn of the century, and there was enough interest to get their demos out through Nocturnal after Invasion Records had pretty much folded. Having only a middling opinion of their 1997 debut Between Light and Darkness, I wasn't too excited by what The Witches Sabbath would represent, a re-issue of the two demos the band released leading up to that debut. Also, like the two albums, the band just never had good cover art, it was always a little bland or obscured, and this twisty digitally tooled image of some chicks lusting with the devil or a demon is just another prime example of how this style wouldn't age well whatsoever...

The demos sound fine, however, in fact they probably sound a little more engaging than the debut album, and most of the same tracks appear on both, so it's understandable why the band might want these put out there for the public to consume. That doesn't really improve the musical quality, they were gunning for that nexus between the Swedish black metal and melodic death all along, but I would say that the sounds here, perhaps being slightly cruder, favor the former genre just a smidgeon. A couple of cuts like the title track from that second demo sound pretty decent in this incarnation, wistful and erotic black metal with enough atmosphere to carry you back to that vital 90s era when so much of this was breaking new ground for us crusty old heshers. In fact, I'd say that if you could just track this collection down, and then head straight over to Necrotical, or the Hellspell album; that would be in your best interest, the tunes just seem a little more authentic in this format. But then again, it's not that inspiring when there were so many better choices during these years.

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10]

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