Necrowretch – Swords of Dajjal

France; The land of cheese, revolutions every Thursday, good people and unique fucking extreme metal.
Necrowretch have been around more than 15 years now, and ever since their “Putrid Death Sorcery” debut full-length back in 2013 kicked me in the face, I’ve been a follower of the French gang.
The band always had a certain something, that set them apart from a lot of other bands these days. On one hand, the old school elements are there in all their glory, yet on the other hand such ferociousness isn’t something that is found on a regular basis.
It has now been four years since the bands last release, “The Ones from Hell”, and it’s already clear that the 2024 effort, titled “Swords of Dajjal”, would not just equal the aforementioned album, but surpass it.

Opener “Ksar Al-Kufar” plunges the listener into the sonic extasy that is the bands’ art of delivering hell pounding, skin cutting madhouse music that sounds on one hand complicated with intertwining oriental moments, yet on the other hand sharp enough to cut a bunch of heads at once.
The world of near-eastern mysticism is somewhat under-explored by extreme metal bands that don’t come from there, so I find the whole theme to be a refreshing one, especially when it’s not necessarily based on maintaining an oriental structure a-la Melechesh, but from constantly returning to smaller melodies, that in turn set up the correct musical scenery.
If we’re already touching and subject, then Dajjal is an evil deity in the Islamic mythology and is said to appear at the world’s end, a middle-eastern version of the Christian antichrist if you will, so it’s only natural that the group would take that subject head on.

“The Fifth Door” plays the same cards, whereas the frenzy and aggression are turned up even further, and the song just doesn’t lift the foot off the pedal other for a short oriental passageway before it ends.  The title track uses the same light cherry-on-top additions of eastern influences, which make the melodic transitions all the more captivating, an effect that can also be heard as light background tribal drums in “Numidian Knowledge”.
Similar tactics are employed in the last track, “Total Obliteration”, where the standard of aggression and frantic art of playing sometimes make way for melodies of times that were lost through the dunes.

“Sword of Dajjal” feels a bit different than other Necrowretch albums. On certain moments it’s cranked up, on others it’s tuned down. It may even feel a bit like it treads into “purer” black metal territories at times, but at the end of the day who gives a fuck about definitions? The music is tremendous.

Score: 8/10

Release Date: February 2024


  1. Ksar Al-Kufar
  2. The Fifth Door
  3. Dii Mauri
  4. Swords of Dajjal
  5. Numidian Knowledge
  6. Vae Victis
  7. Daeva
  8. Total Obliteration