Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Hello once again! The next album in Necrophagia's stellar discography is The Divine Art of Torture. (If you missed the first and second review in the series, be sure to check 'em out! - Ed). After the previous lineup broke up, Killjoy would recruit the help of guitarists and brothers Frediablo and Fug, former Immortal bassist Iscariah, drummer Tita Tani, and keyboardist extraordinaire and Sigh's genius mastermind Mirai Kawashima. This lineup would end up being the most active in the studio, releasing two albums and an EP all within the span of three or four years. But it all starts with this album.
One thing that's noticeable from the get-go is that the new guitarist's styles are a little bit more refined. More melody, more technicality, but still keeping true with that Necrophagia sound. "Blaspheme the Body" starts the album out on a more brutal note with blackened sinister riffs, thrashy drums, and the voice of KIlljoy. "Upon Frayed Lips of Silence," however, is the first highlight on the album. This decrepit, groovy number instills that sense of catchiness for which Necrophagia was always known. This song is pure filth, the riffs ooze with decay. Though this isn't the most keyboard-centered Necrophagia release, this is the album that begins the process of adding more keyboards and synths to their sound. The subtle and spacey synths of Mirai Kawashima act as a juxtaposition to the rotting hymns of the band itself, which I give major praise to.
"Parasite Eve" is a faster-paced punky banger. These riffs remind me of a lot of crusty d-beat bands but filtered through their own horror metal sounds. Another song where the riffs are just absolutely stellar as well, as with the whole album. Meanwhile, "Maim Attraction" continues the momentum that the album has been on since the beginning. I love the infectious riff right before the second verse, one of my favorite riffs on the entire album. Another one of the biggest highlights album is "Rue Morgue Disciple." A tribute to all things horror and gore. I love the strange and eerie melody used in the verse riffs, it's very melodic and very catchy.
So I would like to be brutally honest here and say that this used to be my "least" favorite Necrophagia album. That was only by default though. While there are a few songs that maybe don't stand up as well as some of the others, they still are highly enjoyable. I'd also take note of the fact that , somehow, The Divine Art of Torture is even more raw than Holocausto de la Morte, sonically. The production has this raw, decrepit, decaying atmosphere to it. And I feel that this also helps elevate the album in some ways too. So for that I commend Necrophagia. But things would only get even better...next up is Harvest Ritual.
Necrophagia - The Divine Art of Torture was released in 2003 from Season of Mist
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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!