Death Beats: A look into the eerily beautiful world of NECRØ
If there is a music genre that has seen and benefitted from an intense revival in the last few years, it’s darkwave. Having originally emerged from the post-punk and new wave movements of the late 1970s, darkwave features soundscapes based on minor key tonalities, as well as introspective, melancholic and at times, somber vocals. It inspired a whole movement of its own, embracing other musical styles that range from gothic rock, neoclassical and neofolk to ethereal wave and cold wave, and spawning brilliant artists and bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. This past decade, darkwave has been spearheaded by a number of bands and artists that have rekindled the interest in the genre – Boy Harsher, Drab Majesty, Kaelan Mikla, Perturbator, Pastel Ghost, Thief and Molchat Doma are just a few of those that have been pushing the envelope of a genre that has limitless potential.
The latest name that takes the genre to delicious new heights is NECRØ, the brand-new profect from João Vairinhos, a Portuguese musician with an already renowned career in the electronic arts, whether via his own solo work or in association with artists such as Hélio Morais and Ricardo Remédio, and bands like Wildnorthe and LÖBO. Having recruited Sara Inglês, the idiosyncratic and memorable singer and keyboardist of the aforementioned Wildnorthe, Vairinhos utilizes his mastery over electronics to conjure a sound universe that could be described as a marriage between a more gruesome Boy Harsher and a more exploratory Perturbator, with slight hints of Nine Inch Nails and Zanias.
NECRØ’s debut release will come in the form of an EP, entitled Death Beats, and set for release on February 17th via Regulator Records, Ring Leader and Zerowork Records. By its name alone, one can understand what this EP is at its core, what it represents and what it offers to the listener. Starting off with a slow, minimalistic and absolutely danceable crescendo on “Surviving Pessimism”, the EP never loses its momentum, delivering mesmerizing songs that expertly mix synthwave and dungeon synth melodies with dark synthpop atmospheres. On songs such as “Narcissist”, “Two Sides” and the title-track “Death Beats”, Sara Inglês’ haunting voice shines through dark curtains as both a hopeful light and a nihilistic reminder of a promised end. The title-track, specifically, is a magnificent blend of industrial beats, sharp sequences and sinister melodies, combined perfectly with incredible lyrics – a true masterclass on how to forge and perform darkwave that is both atmospheric, alluring and daunting. And let’s not forget the two short instrumental tracks, “X” and “Without You”, that could have very well been a part of an indie noir film for how well create a darkened and sorrowful ambiance.
From the bleak and existential soundscapes to the spectral and chilling yet beautiful vocals, Death Beats is an impressively weaved and somber release, a new gem within a marvellous genre. We simply cannot wait to see where the project goes next, and if anything, a full-length release and live shows are more than welcome. And until you are able to feast your ears upon Death Beats in full, enjoy the music video for the title-track, expertly crafted by Sara Inglês herself – you can watch it below this article. You can pre-order the EP physically and digitally here.
Photo credit: Pedro Roque