Necropanther – “Oblivion Jones: A Tale Of False Consciousness” – Everything Is Noise

Tired of other dystopian tales, Necropanther wove their own with Oblivion Jones, a veritable compendium of metal’s different extremes

Release date: May 3, 2024 | Independent | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp

While I was still kicking myself for neglecting to review Necropanther‘s newest LP from last year, a thrashed-up take on the story of The Warriors which we premiered a video for, they already announced a new EP. Why am I surprised? They’re a wonderfully prolific band and have been growing upward the whole time since I discovered them with 2019’s The Doomed City. Things, fortunately, have not changed at all with this new project.

Though the Denver group love to metalify established cult classic stories like the aforementioned 1979 film (or the 1965 novel of the same name), Logan’s Run, or Dune, it’s an original story that grips the thematic recesses of Oblivion Jones: A Tale Of False Consciousness. It follows Oblivion Jones, a fictional painter from Baltimore loosely affiliated with the Beats and working in Denver to create a magnum opus of sorts when he is killed only to be reborn as a cybernetic replicant who attends an exhibition of his art in the near future. What’s more is the band threw another conceptual wrench into it all by channeling one specific, different subgenre of metal with each of the EP’s four songs to create a varied, moody piece to match the story.

“The Denver School” is familiar and comforting, utilizing the band’s thrashy idiosyncrasies and momentum to create one of the coolest metal tracks I’ve heard all year. Seriously, this quick bastard dropped last month as the lead single and I must’ve looped it five or six times. In addition to the core members, joining Necropanther for this EP is jazz musician Rico Jones on tenor saxophone and I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. His sax really elevates the track (and EP as a whole) with wonderfully rich textures and a facet of musicianship the band had yet to encompass. Not to be outdone on their own track though, the quartet put in work to fully flesh out this song with wildly catchy riffs and robust drumming that sets the stage for a dystopian play to unfold. Absolutely love the melody used throughout the track. Goddamn, this is good.

“The Transported Man” is a pinnacle moment for both the story and Necropanther. Oblivion Jones dies (spoiler?) and the band saw fit to put on their doom metal cloaks and get cracking on a eulogy. It’s a phenomenally realized piece that evokes Candlemass much more than Bell Witch of course. I’ve never heard the band this slow for this long, around a third of their usual speed, and it really pulls the details out of their instrumentation for you to digest. Everything’s here though – great riffs, foreboding darkness and violence, and a dash of atmo you’re usually not afforded with thrash metal since it’s more about sonic oppression. And hey, we still get awesome leads and solos from both guitarists Joe Johnson and Paul Anop (who also does vocals). If you like classically-styled doom, this is a hit.

Rico Jones sessions with guitarist Joe Johnson

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