Necromancing The Stone – Jewel Of The Vile album review

First-wave power metal with a contemporary pedigree from Necromancing The Stone, reviewed here

Necromancing The Stone, 'Jewel Of The Vile' album cover

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Considering the glorious puns of the moniker and album title, you could be forgiven for expecting Necromancing The Stone to be some sort of grind band.

On discovering they include members of Arsis, Ribspreader and The Black Dahlia Murder, you might then reasonably expect technical modern death metal instead. This five-piece, however, ply a rugged, muscular form of power metal.

Taking their cues from the harder-edged US power metal of Iced Earth and Jag Panzer, their impactful riffing combines melodic elements of classic metal and the crunching chug of Bay Area thrash, topped off with a stunning vocal performance from Brimstone Coven’s Big John Williams. There are hints of early Annihilator and Armored Saint here, but they’re filtered through a modern metal production, while the musicianship levels are so high that Jeff Loomis’s guest contribution to The Old One feels like a meeting of equals. Necromancing The Stone have some nods to the melodicism of classic metal but Jewel… has its feet planted firmly in the here and now.