Good lord, I fucking love this album. Necromantia is a black metal band, often put in the forefront of the talks of Hellenic Black Metal, and I can understand why. "Scarlet Evil Witching Black" is one of those monumental albums that people should know more about, but simply don't. Ever since I discovered this album, It has been played non-stop!
Necromantia is essentially two guys, "The Magus" (as he's simply called now) handling the 4 stringed bass and vocals, and "Baron Blood" on the 8 string bass. Together, they along with session musicians crank out some of the warmest black metal that'd melt Dissection and Immortal and drown the world. The "whole, yet jagged sound" of the basses shouldn't work, but it does. The melodies and riffs that come out of the instruments have a rough twang and an otherworldly hypnotic feel to them. Songs like "Devilskin", "Pretender To The Throne (Opus 1)", and "Scarlet Witching Dreams" highlight this quality extremely well.
But this album isn't just a one-trick pony with its' rugged 12 string sonic fury. An actual guitar appears here and there, contributing only solos. While you could say the solos "dot the i's", the synths which are prominent throughout, "cross the t's." Both are qualities that enhance the music, giving each song a unique identity. Oh yeah, there is also a saxophone appearance in the fourth track, "The Arcane Light of Hecate." Don't worry though, it doesn't turn into a pretentious jazzy wankfest. The band keeps to their sound and resumes through the album.
The album as a whole is nothing less than stellar. From the furious opener "Devilskin" to the somber closer, and my personal favorite, "Spiritdance", Necromantia dug themselves a hole that they could never equal. If you're looking to explore the Greek Black Metal scene, or any Black Metal in general, you'd be in the wrong not tocheck this album out! It is a true masterpiece, and testament to the mysticism of Hellenic Black Metal!