Nekrogoblikon - Welcome To Bonkers review

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Band: Nekrogoblikon
Album: Welcome To Bonkers
Release date: April 2018

01. Mold
02. The Many Faces Of Dr. Hubert Malbec
03. Row
04. Dressed As Goblins
05. Dragons
06. Thanks For Nothing Moon
07. The Skin Thief
08. Darkness
09. The Magic Spider
10. Killing Time
11. Goblins

Humor plays a vital role in Nekrogoblikon's music, but the band has smartly avoided becoming a "joke band" reliant on image or yoked to one gimmick (self-deprecating compositions notwithstanding). Novelty has kept Nekrogoblikon alive, sure, but only in tandem with strong musical output like Stench and Power, and it's the failure to cultivate the musical side properly that made Heavy Meta a less impactful release than its predecessors. Welcome To Bonkers returns this green, pimply, slimy quintet to its Goblin Throne.

Heavy Meta pulled Nekrogoblikon away from melodeath and extreme power just slightly, shaving down some of the brute force and leaning more on quirkiness. Obviously, no Nekrogoblikon album is complete without those quirks, though Welcome To Bonkers brings back the brawn we felt on Stench, with a heavier tone and production that makes the album feel more cohesive in spite of its many stylistic variations. The production, noticeably a cut above previous Nekrogoblikon releases, certainly plays a large part in restoring the band's vitality on this album.

In addition to the standard patterns that Nekrogoblikon typically employs, this album veers into heavier genres like technical death metal and symphonic death metal on occasion, also playing up the "power" in "extreme power" to the point of achieving actual bombast in songs like "Row" and "Thanks For Nothing Moon." "The Skin Thief" opens with pilfered Stratovarius flavors and evolves into some kind of parodic Carach Angren by the chorus, while "The Magic Spider" evokes whimsical folk-prog, surf, and cool Caribbean tunes in a confusing, yet catchy and uplifting, ode to wish-granting spiders on the moon. The closer, "Goblins," is one of the band's most fascinating compositions to date, like a heavier, Queen-influenced take on The Flaming Lips - and Muse lurks around so many corners throughout the album. The keyboards especially seem to be branching out and driving the exploration of new textures and moods.

Meanwhile, Nekrogoblikon's personal style remains in fit, fighting form - Scorpion's froggy rasping, versatile thrash and melodeath riffing, keys covering every style from the carnival to the dance floor to the haunted castle, and a unique sense for combining rhythm and melody into carnivorous hooks. We have in "Mold" a classic-sounding Nekrogoblikon single, decked out with the kind of nasal chorus I've been sorely missing, and even the least adventurous tracks have the stamp of personality that we haven't heard in too many years.

Heavy Meta is a good album, but, unusual personality notwithstanding, it feels like more of the same style that plenty of non-goblin-themed bands have already explored; Welcome To Bonkers finds the fun in experimenting again, advancing Nekrogoblikon's sound in a substantial manner the way Stench improved on Goblin Island. Welcome To Bonkers demonstrates that Nekrogoblikon is putting out feelers into other genres, steadily advancing its musical spheres, and picking up more styles to incorporate. With the significant improvement in songwriting, Welcome To Bonkers feels incredibly passionate and alive, as ridiculous as it might be to append those adjectives to an album about dancing goblins and rambunctious dragons.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Written on 26.03.2018 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 7   Visited by: 174 users
26.03.2018 - 18:50
Bad English
Seems to me this always will be a joke band, because of history and attitude, joke is joke, right? even metal joke
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
27.03.2018 - 07:12
The jokes may be good with thrash or anything not melodeath/tech. Ultra calculated...I may be too old to understand people that like this form of metal. I'm in awe of 90% of screemingsteels reviews. They are almost always something super cheesy. As if from a completely different metal world...I don't understand.
27.03.2018 - 07:18
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
I've only heard Dressed as Goblins and The Skin Thief so far, but the two lead me to tentatively agree with your review and leave me eagerly anticipating the full release of the album. Can't pass full judgement til I actually hear the full release, but those two released tracks thus far are absolutely excellent.
28.03.2018 - 06:05
Nick Carter
I hate when they public reviews of album you still have to wait. You do have a talent for comparison and adjective use, I am dying to hear this just from your review.
28.03.2018 - 11:12
Written by Nick Carter on 28.03.2018 at 06:05

I hate when they public reviews of album you still have to wait. You do have a talent for comparison and adjective use, I am dying to hear this just from your review.

I also have about two or three reviews upcoming for albums not yet released and I have no idea how to properly approach writing the reviews in a "yeah it's cool, but you gotta wait WEEKS until you can hear it", so I think I'll push them back until you get about a few days until the release date
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
28.03.2018 - 19:13
Nick Carter
Well it is also part of the charm, but sometimes the wait is too long, as you say.
11.08.2018 - 21:31
Aptly named. first listen to Nekrogoblikon and didn't know what to think. blend of some Finntroll, schtick, videogame music, vocal delivery that borders on almost rap at times. rather enjoyed it. will be an occasional listen.

nice work pounding out words, SSUS.
get the fuck off my lawn.

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