Melodic death metal band Nekrogoblikon has released their fourth full-length album ‘Welcome to Bonkers’ (AVAILABLE NOW) and it is hands down the best record of 2018 so far. Here’s my full review:
Nekrogoblikon may have a goblin mascot/hype man called John Goblikon and some of their songs/music videos are silly, but don’t let the comedy lull you into a false sense of security because ‘Welcome to Bonkers’ is their metal masterpiece. Equal parts death, thrash, speed, punk but always metal as f***, Nekrogoblikon went all out crafting this follow-up to the brilliant ‘Heavy Meta’ (2015). The songs reminded me of Queen — but if Queen decided to hire Nicky “Scorpion” Calonne on vocals and then the rest of the band came by shortly after and systematically killed the other remaining members to wear their skin, so that they could find whatever secret magical potion that made Queen make such bizarre fantasy fuelled rock — but then they tainted that potion with the blood of goblins and proceeded to mindf*** everybody in the universe.
In other words the music can be hard to describe, but if you’re a fan of metal, I don’t see how you can’t be blown away by songs like ‘Darkness’ which has a machinegun chorus delivery that will try its best to break your neck, or the mellow ‘Goblins’ which closes the record and takes you on a weird trip to another dimension where the bizarre reign supreme. Aaron “Raptor” Minich’s keyboards are extremely important to the killer formula in crafting the songs on ‘Welcome to Bonkers’ – he may very well be the lifeblood of this band. Nekrogoblikon have come a long way since their 2007 debut ‘Goblin Island’, layering their music with varying musical influences while still retaining their signature psychotic sound.
‘Welcome to Bonkers’ floored me. I laughed, I headbanged in the shower until I nearly fell out and died, which would have been the way to go now that I think about it (also, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a heavy metal shower listening party – no joke). ‘The Many Faces of Dr. Hubert Malbec’ is another work of genius and a song that should have fans of classic In Flames nodding calmly with Swedish deadpan approval. That’s another bizarre thing – when I first heard Nekrogoblikon (their Heavy Meta record), I assumed they were from Europe, because they had that folk metal sound I love – sorta like Kvelertak – but with more speed metal thrown into the mix. Turns out the band hails from Los Angeles, California. I love that.
Nekrogoblikon have released my favourite album of 2018 so far and I don’t see a potential contender in sight that will be able to top the originality, catchiness and craziness of ‘Welcome to Bonkers’. Maybe it’s because I’m craving something new, something unusual, or maybe, just maybe, it’s because ‘Welcome to Bonkers’ is just that damn good. Check it out.
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