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Necrophagist - Epitaph (9/10) - Germany - 2004

Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Label: Relapse Records
Playing time: 32:56
Band homepage: Necrophagist

Tracklist:

  1. Stabwound
  2. The Stillborn One
  3. Ignominious & Pale
  4. Diminished To Be
  5. Epitaph
  6. Only Ash Remains
  7. Seven
  8. Symbiotic In Theory
Necrophagist - Epitaph

Rats, and I was just learning some basic arpeggios recently and thought I was going to take on the world when I got this album for reviewing. Iím stoked, I cannot even begin to phantom how you can create and play music like this.

 

German Progressive Death Metallers NECROPHAGIST are one of those bands who like to make things challenging for themselves and their listeners, this album has one heck of a skilled performance, if not the best Iíve heard in the Death Metal genre and thatís saying a lot considering the fact that Iím a big fan of this style which houses awesome bands like CYNIC, CRYPTOPSY, THE FORSAKEN and others.

 

Institutionalised Death Metal meets overflowing Progressive Metal, sounds nice doesnít it? The guys clearly want to stay within a number of genres, they play Progressive Death Metal and stick to that, a few slow breakdowns and nothing else, must be pretty exhausting to play live.

 

Instrumentally, ďEpitaphĒ is beyond perfect if anything, precision, coordination, arrangement, everything, if machines were to play Metal music in say 3034 it would have sounded something like this since I doubt an entity without a conscience would play sweet pop tunes.

 

Songs are cryptic in the sense that instrumentally thereís a lot going on, many tempo changes and odd time signatures on every player in the band, calculated song writing all the way, I feel like being back in school trying to solve equations. Riffs are of high-level composing scales with tons of rhythmic dissonances and lots of splintering artificial harmonics. Itís all done so well, did they play everything once and just copy and paste the repeated passages or do they have an extra set of fingers doing all hyper technical stuff? I donít know which one to believe.

 

The low growling takes away some of the overall sophistication, they couldíve tried to mix them with more variety as everything else on this record spirals out of control (because of huge variation in musical delivery). Donít get me wrong, it doesnít ruin anything, they fit with the music and thatís just as good in my opinion. If you listen carefully and concentrate hard enough on the melodic elements and different solo styles you should find a bit of classical music being used in a more vibrant and heavily distorted way hehe.

 

How often do you hear a Death Metal album that doesnít have an obscure edge? There are some of course and ďEpitaphĒ is one of them. Itís actually fun to listen to the album, the atmosphere is technical, uncompromising and intricate, anything but emotive, itís the type of album that holds those introspective thoughts at bay.

 

The first spins made me dizzy, writing basic notes on a piece of paper seemed like a lost cause but after repetitive walkthroughs I really can say that this is some of the best executed Finger Surfing Progressive Death Metal Iíve stumbled upon, damn fine treatment for the ears!!! (Online October 29, 2004)

Frodi Stenberg



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