EP Review: Nekrogoblikon - "Power"

Sometimes, all it takes is a moment. With the remarkable success of their freshly released, high-gloss video for “No One Survives,” Nekrogoblikon has made the leap from “totally obscure” to “dark horse” and done so seemingly overnight. The video itself has accrued more than two million views and was a product of chance meetings, creative direction and adult film starlets. Los Angeles truly is a magical place, indeed.

The band also plays the part of quirky Los Angeles metal band pretty well. Aside from the goblin masks and fanciful back story, a glance at the band’s MerchNow page tells more of the tale. Their online store sells much more than music and merchandise, as you can pay the band one hundred dollars for a massage, five hundred to go to your job (or your birthday party,) or for five bucks they’ll simply spit in an envelope and mail it to you.

Capitalizing on the success of “No One Survives,” Nekrogoblikon is striking while the iron is hot with the follow up five-song EP “Power.”

Musically, the band is much in the same vein as Finntroll (though the lyrics are in English,) with a touch of GWAR’s in your face disarming offensiveness tossed in. Backward though it may seem, it’s hard not to be charmed as least a little as vocalist Nicholas Von Doom adopts a (assumedly) goblin-like singing voice and grunts about everything from the extermination of crickets worldwide to simply not liking the person next to you (or anyone, for that matter.)

There is a heaped together mix of instruments for “Power” as keyboard and drums are mashed and mixed for “Powercore” or “Friends (In Space.)” Those are hardly the only such instances, as the entire EP bears all the same musical hallmarks. That is, except for “Giraffe,” the EP’s closer, which sacrifices a lot of the ornamentation and becomes a sort of jaunty punk tune that’s about, well, a giraffe. And pointing and laughing at it. I think. Goblin humor, I suppose.

The only fault of “Power” is that it feels rushed. It’s no coincidence that “No One Survives” was such an unexpected hit and “Power” comes so quickly after. The mix on the EP is rough, and songs like “Bells and Whistles” would have been better served with more time for post-processing. The edges of “Power” could be smoother, the transitions easier and the tones just a touch more full.

“Power” is listenable for what it is, and can bring moments of absurdist joy. It’s easy to like Nekrogoblikon for their extracurriculars and they remain highly unique. Still, I find I await their next full album more than I’m satiated by this EP.

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