Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Hello dear friends! It's sad to say but our time with this retrospective series has come to an end, for we are ending with Whiteworm Cathedral. (If you missed the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth review in the series, be sure to check 'em out! - Ed).
This album marks another integral moment in Necrophagia's career. After a few delays and having to re-record the whole thing, we were gifted this beautiful album. There is no huge lineup change this time. Boris Randall would end up leaving and was replaced by guitarists Scrimm and Abigail Lee Nero, and Killjoy is also reunited with former keyboardist Mirai Kawashima. Both guitarists are an absolutely stellar addition to Necrophagia, as you will soon read below. So, without further ado I will now leave you with Whiteworm Cathedral...
"Reborn Through Black Mass" is truly one of the best openers on any Necrophagia album, period. Not a fast-paced song (save for the guitar solo section), but the groove is fucking undeniable. And then you get absolutely demolished by "Вий." As soon as the song begins, you just headbang. It's literally impossible to not headbang. The main riff is MONSTROUS. The first thing that is rather apparent with this album is that this is a refreshed and refined Necrophagia. More focused on song structures, creating atmosphere, and writing the most insanely catchy hooks in all of extreme metal.
And just as you thought that it couldn't get any better, we are greeted with "Warlock Messiah." This is a doomier number on the album, albeit with bursts of double bass savagery. I also need to make note of the use of the organ on the song--it's just magnificent. The chorus is absolutely infectious too. It's amazing how catchy an extreme metal album can be. I'm being deadly serious. These songs have absolutely perfect choruses. These are songs that WILL get stuck in your head. "Fear the Priest" begins the middle of the album on a beast of a note. This song is a fucking stomper. The riffs are, once again, skull-crushing. Plus, how could you note scream along to "I AM NO ONE!"
But the biggest highlight on the album is most definitely "Coffins". This song is probably in my top five favorite songs of all time, and certainly in Necrophagia's discography. This song is filthy, sleazy, and just pure rock 'n roll energy. Everything about this song is perfect to me: the riffs, the chorus, the solos, the drumming... everything. And the last 45 seconds of this song are some of the greatest moments in all of music. The closing riff to this song is perfect. It's so good to me in fact that every single time I listen to this song, I always rewind to that part. It honestly blows my mind that a riff like that even exists in this world. I literally am in complete awe every single time I listen to it.
While the death metal characteristics are there, I wouldn't consider this a death metal album. To me this album has more in common with heavy metal than death metal. "Hexen Nacht" continues the trajectory--a devastating beast of a tune. A little bit more fast-paced but within leaning into thrashier territories. I absolutely love the double bass battering of the verses, really tastefully done. The last track I will talk about is "Silentium Vel Mortis." This is, without question, the fastest and most brutal song on the album. This song is just relentless throughout most of the runtime, save for a doomy middle section. I'd say that this is probably one of the most brutal songs in the Necrophagia discography. All-in-all, a stellar track.
Whiteworm Cathedral was a major turning point in Necrophagia's career, albeit with a bittersweet ending. I find that this is easily Necrophagia's most melodic, catchy, and rockin' album. There's a really rich atmosphere to the album, drenched in filth and rot. These songs are sleazy, groovy, haunting, with plenty of hooks. Unfortunately Killjoy would pass away on March 18, 2018, but not without leaving behind an amazing legacy. Killjoy's passing brought upon the end of Necrophagia as well. He is sorely missed.
I'd like to thank everybody for sticking with me during this Necrophagia discography retrospective. It was a lot of work and not without frustrations, but in the end it all worked out. Thank you everybody for your support. Now it's time to review some new albums.
Necrophagia - Whiteworm Cathedral was released in 2014 via 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!