ALBUM REVIEW: ‘Welcome To Bonkers’ by Nekrogoblikon 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with mixing music and comedy, but it has to be done in a particular way to properly work. It helps if a band can be genuinely funny like The Hell or augment their humour with noticeable musical chops like Avatar, but even just framing themselves as a blatant parody à la Steel Panther or Ninja Sex Party at least has appeal. For Nekrogoblikon, on the other hand, there’s no appeal to speak of; take away their shtick of a guy in a rubber goblin mask running around with them onstage, and they’d easily be among the most stupid, horrifically bland death metal bands in existence. And yet, there was a period – namely when any band with a gimmick clogged up every media outfit imaginable – where that was positioned as enough, and with the ironic perfect scores and column inches that could and should have been offered to far more deserving acts, the putrid stench of Nekrogoblikon was embedded within modern rock. Hell, even by covering them now, it’s perpetuating the idea that a sure-fire way to get attention is through stupid gimmicks to augment a lack of talent or imagination.

There is a point to this, though, directed at both listeners and bands who think Nekrogoblikon is a worthy way to spend time. For listeners, this is a band who play infinitesimally insignificant role in a genre with hundreds, if not thousands of better options; for bands who may believe that emulating their “success” is a way to get noticed, here’s some advice – don’t. Because really, what is there that’s here to become some enamoured by? A beyond-basic death metal album produced in a way that crushes it into translucent fragments, topped off by a vocalist who sounds like he guzzles acid for fun? Yeah, that’s appealing, but what’s worse is they’re the better moments here. The more standard metal of Mold and Dressed As Goblins may be cut to ribbons will no body whatsoever, but they might as well be opuses compared to the trance influence on Dragons that genuinely sounds like a MIDI recording, the blaring chiptune of The Magic Spider which borders so close to being totally unlistenable, or the hair-pulling obnoxiousness of The Many Faces Of Dr. Hubert Malbec‘s circus music. And for a band who are so clearly trying to shove themselves in the listener’s face by any means necessary, it’s not even memorable, even in a memetic way. Dressed As Goblins may verge on that given how the titular line is repeated ad nauseum, but really the only thing that’ll (unfortunately) stick is Nicholas Von Doom’s vocals, and the sound of his profuse, uncontrollable vomiting with every syllable.

All that is probably convincing enough to not touch this album with a ten foot pole, but if not, perhaps the lyrics which are just as pointless and asinine as everything else will do the job. And they are just as throwaway, ranging from fantasy imagery with as little musical craft as putting a Dungeons & Dragons manual to music on The Magic Spider and Goblins, to what can only be described as a warped take on Margaret Wise Brown’s children’s book Goodnight Moon on Thanks For Nothing Moon. There’s nothing close to depth or intelligence, and with the slimy film of forced humour that oozes over literally everything here, it can be genuinely hard to stomach at points.

But the most infuriating thing about Welcome To Bonkers and indeed Nekrogoblikon as a whole stems deeper than that, circling back to the floods of unwarranted promotion that was once given to them, and that’s where they stand when it comes to the representation of metal as a whole. At long last metal finally seems to be gaining a positive public presence, and shaking off the stigma of being exclusively for weirdos and fantasy nerds, but with an album like this, Nekrogoblikon are actively dredging up those old stereotypes purely for themselves to stay relevant. They get the promotion they want, reach a point where they become enough of a force to get wider recognition, and the paradigm shifts back to how it once was, leaving the uphill battle to start all over again. And this isn’t an issue exclusively linked to Nekrogoblikon – you could make the exact same argument for bands like Alestorm or Gwar – but they’ve never had the sort of push that this band have, nor do they have as little that’s actually noteworthy. Sure, there’s the goblin hype man at live shows, but move that aside for recorded output, and everything comes falling apart at the seams.

And truly, when it does fall apart, what’s left in it’s wake is a calamitous waste of time that isn’t even worth digging through to find some redeeming qualities. Even aside from how infuriatingly gimmick-ridden and potentially harmful it is, it’s about as shoddy and amateurish as you can expect from death metal, with terrible production, worse lyrics, and the foetid air of a band who know how skull-boringly dumb they are and that they’ll get away with it all the same. Welcome To Bonkers is that rare shitshow of a release that can’t get a single thing right, and where it’ll be a totally commendable achievement if a worse album is released this year. Actually, to call this an album might be giving Nekrogoblikon too much credence; more than anything, this is just an insult.


For fans of: Psychostick, Dethklok, Trollfest
Words by Luke Nuttall

‘Welcome To Bonkers’ by Nekrogoblikon is released on 6th April.

30 thoughts

  1. I can’t possibly imagine how stubborn someone must be to rate an album that is anything but white noise a 1/10. Very unprofessional rating, even if you don’t find the album to be worthy of ‘good’ review. A rating scale takes numerous factors into account across the entire album ranging from production to musical content and the author of this article clearly has no right to even be rating music, let alone writing articles, if they cannot justify giving anything other than a 1/10 to an album that isn’t entirely vapid.
    Try harder to not be entirely biased when writing about a band you clearly don’t personally like or, at the very least, don’t weigh in if you won’t be remotely professional.

    Good use of grammar, and structure.
    Entirely devoid of any useful musical reviewing content.

  2. It seems that the guy who wrote the review really didn’t like Nekrogoblikon.
    But to give 1/10 only just because it doesn’t fit your taste?
    Weak argument. The record is well written, very well played, well produced and over all:
    a fun thing to hear. And no: i don’t listen to Alestorm the other day.
    This is serious music with a humorous twist. Like TBDM on acid.
    And there’s nothing bad about it at all. The rest is – as i mentioned – just personal taste.

  3. What a piss-poor review. Written in the most cunty possible fashion, as if the writers mother has some sort of personal vendetta against Nekrogoblikon. It literally sounds like the kind of thing you’d read from some 15 year old elitist shithead in the cesspool that is the Youtube comments section.

    A very bad look for this website.

  4. Apparently nothing is more offensive to this sad, sad biped than ‘fun’ metal. He’s still trapped in that outdated mindset of “Metal is Serious Music created by and for Serious People”. With this level of barely-concealed unsubstantiated bias, I expect this guy to have his own show on Fox News within the week.

  5. This entire review is a laughable joke, but the punchline is that Nekrogoblikon’s popularity reigns over Gwar and Alestorm.
    Also, die in a fucking fire. If you’re embarrassed by the weird and nerdy veins that run through metal go listen to something shittier.

  6. Two billion more will die tonight!
    Imagine stacks of burning flesh,
    Whole city blocks now house the ashes of mankind.
    Sounds of inhuman laughter spreading forth across the earth.
    Look on, there’s not much left to see.
    When all the humans start to die…
    When all that don’t shall go insane…
    As they look up at blackened sky,
    In times before the goblins came,
    We only had ourselves to blame,
    For the problems in our lives,
    Spiralling down towards our demise.
    We used to laugh, we used to cry,
    Now the only thing we do is die!
    Dying slowly in the winter light,
    No one survives tonight!
    The end of days is here,
    There is no going back.
    The forests burn and oceans boil,
    The ground is stained forever black.
    The world is gone!
    A massive grave endures instead,
    Toxic weeds are growing over the bodies of the dead.
    Whole countries lie ruined,
    civilization erased.
    The oceans infected
    with nuclear waste.
    (Nuclear waste)
    (What a terrible place)
    No one survives the end of the world.

  7. This review stretches thin the notion that “At least bad reviews are entertaining”. This is vendetta level vitriol. At worst the album was just okay. It didn’t murder your parents.

  8. Guy has a stupid name.. Nuttall… i think this weakling is just up set because his Dad no longer Nutt-alls over his face! see what i did there.. that took 83% more skill to do then your entire article.

  9. This is the worst review of an album ever. Do you write music are you in a band? Maybe you need to find new employment, this is honestly a worse review than anything metalsucks puts out.

  10. Well this guys a bit of cunt isn’t he. Its a well played well produced album and because it didn’t suit your tastes you gave it a 1/10.

  11. Wow. What’s prevalent in Metal nowadays is this type of snobbery. 1/10 because you think they are “harmful” to the scene is about as pretentious a conclusion as one could arrive at from listening to this album.

  12. Pseudo-intellectual thesaurus worship? Check.
    Personal bias overwhelming any semblance of professional objectivity? Check.
    Insecurities pertaining to the roots of the genre? Check.
    Denounces fun on the basis of subjective preference? Check.
    Remains vehemently opposed to even entertaining the idea that the album has some positive aspects? Check.
    Review completely devoid of any real musical analysis or *reviewing*? Check.
    Wilfully ignores/failed to research the previous work and context of the band (ragging on “gimmicks” in light of a satirical, self-aware piece on gimmicks)? Check.

    I’m truly surprised you’ve maintained a job reviewing music with your astounding lack of capacity to remain objective and professional when reviewing music (read: doing your job). It almost seems as if you’re on a warpath to intentionally tarnish a band’s reputation so it’s a shame you have to be so incompetent that it appears to have backfired.

    However, in light of all your inadequacy as a critic this review has given me a whole new angle to appreciate Nekrogoblikon from as “that band that REALLY upsets elitists” so uhhhhh… 10/10 review!

    1. Oh and… Crying for lyrical and intellectual depth on an album where fictional space goblins go on a treasure hunt for a magic spider? Check.

    2. Whats wrong with you? This album isn’t that great, I farted this morning and it sounded better than this crap.

  13. As someone who writes music reviews for a living: you’re doing an awful job. You never let your personal biases reflect you critiques, and that’s literally all you did for several uneventful paragraphs. You’d be better off deleting this because it isn’t helping your reputation.

  14. Maybe the author should try listening to something edgy and depressing, slit his wrists, and save us the job of reading his fucking awful reviews.

  15. This is a fantastic album from an incredible band filled with outstanding musicians.

    Every album/ep release is different. So many mixed sub-genres of metal too.
    Power, death, prog, folk. Just a superb album all around

    Whoever wrote this review must like to play it safe and listen to bands doing the same mundane crap day in, day out.

  16. Truly the only bad review I’ve seen of this album. Stop taking the metal genre so seriously and you may invite more of those “non-weirdos” to listen. Nekrogoblikon is MORE than technically sound, they have a silly streak, and their gimmick sets them apart from every other black t-shirt wearing group of dudes with guitars and long hair that’s become the bland norm of the scene today. Lighten up and enjoy the silly.

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