Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Welcome to my Necrophagia discography retrospective series, where I will be reviewing all six Necrophagia albums in order (EP's and comps may be reviewed at a later date). The reason why I decided to do this is because Necrophagia are my favorite band of all time, and I feel it's necessary to spread the gospel of filth to the unacquainted. Necrophagia were one of the first ever death metal bands, but yet not a lot of people know that. With that in mind, I'll just get right into it.
A great album should always begin with the mood, and here the mood is set with "Season of the Dead/Forbidden Pleasure. A creepy acoustic guitar passage begins this album, and really adds so much atmosphere. After the guitars fade we are greeted with a horrifying mix of ghastly choir vocals and ritualistic ambiance before everything explodes into atmospheric riffs and the (always recognizable) voice of Killjoy. "Bleeding Torment" is a brutal onslaught double bass devastation and catchy riffs for days. I love the little tricks that Necrophagia employs, especially the dropout of all of the instruments for the drums to have their time to shine.
"Insane for Blood" is another atmospheric banger of sorts. I love the middle section where the music gets echoes out and Killjoy gets his time to shine. I also love the section with the particularly nasty basslick. As a followup, "Reincarnation" is an absolute brutal attack. It is relentless pretty much all the way through, without sacrificing the earworm riffs of guitarist Larry Madison. In contrast, "Ancient Slumber" is a creepier number on this album. The music is far more slow, crawling at you with malicious intent. The main riff in this song is absolutely frightening and menacing.
"Mental Decay" is particularly special to me, as it was the song that made me become a lifer of this band. This track is, in my opinion, a perfect song--the most perfect song in all of extreme metal. This lurching, rabid number takes no prisoners. You are berated by a barrage of horrific and catchy riffs. Though I wouldn't call this an "atmospheric" song per say, there's a hovering sense of dread throughout this entire tune.
The last song I'd like to touch upon is "Terminal Vision". I love the bass lick in the beginning, it's such a primitive groove but it's very effective. I'd also say that this is probably the most overtly brutal song on the album. Once the beginning ends, it's just unhinged brutality throughout.
Even on their "first" album (we'll talk about that later), Necrophagia had a full grasp of the songwriting and originality aspects of their music. Pioneers, game-changers, and original: those are three of the best terms to describe Necrophagia. It's so sad that unfortunately this would be the last album of the original Necrophagia lineup. Musical differences were the cause of this beast's demise, and so for nearly a whole decade, they were laid to rest and everyone moved on. But you can't hide from your demons forever. They always come back with a bloodlust that can NEVER be quenched. The reanimation of Necrophagia would soon take place...
Necrophagia - Season of the Dead was released February 1987 from New Renaissance Records
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!