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This album is a grower people, give it time to sink in.
After listening to Epitaph for over a year, I've finally come to terms with it's brilliance. It's arguably become my favorite death metal album of all time and that's saying a lot with all the classics that came out.
It starts off with ''Stabwound'', the shortest and catchiest song on the album. Already in the first 15 seconds, Necrophagist displays their amazing talents and their differant, yet powerful death metal vocals. It then goes into ''The Stillborn One'', the song that turned me off Epitaph when I first bought it because of it's slow pace and it was the opposite of Stabwound, it wasn't catchy at all. But after a year of digestion, the song has grown on me and I'm blown away by how tight they are (even tighter) when they slow down the speed of a song.
Track 3 (Ignominious & Pale) is the take off point, they don't slow down for the rest of the album. Ignomunious & Pale, Diminished to B, the tittle-track Epitaph and Only Ash Remains are non-stop with amazing riff after amazing riff after amazing riff! Christian Münzner really proves that he's worthy of playing along side with Muhammed (especially in Only Ash Remains).
Speaking of which, Only Ash Remains, to me, is hands down the best song on this album (followed by the tittle track). They really do show-off their amazing abilities in this song. The bass intro is mind-boggling, how anyone could solo that fast on bass with three fingers is beyond me. As if that wasn't enough, Muhammed and Christian break into the bass solo with the cleanest and best executed guitar harmony I've ever heard. I've listened to the first 30 seconds of this song over and over so many times and it never gets old. This song is non-stop with great riffing and then they finish off with a classical piece, which actually fits very well into the song. Only Ash Remains is basically the only song in which they display their talents with an obvious intro and an outro.
''Seven'' has probably the weirdest and most hypnotizing opening riff (which is also the main riff) in the entire Necrophagist catalogue. Great song, but an odd pick to be on Relapse Record's latest compilation CD, it's not the best song to summarize the album or the band in general. The album finishes on ''Symbiotic in Theory'', another great song with more great riffs and solos, ending the album on a good note.
To all fans of metal who appreciate good musicianship and amazing talent, check out this album (and their 2002 album Onset to Putrefaction). But if you're one of the metal gurus who thinks that death metal should sound exactly the same as it did in 1991, stay away from this album and stop giving it bad reviews after hearing half of it and claiming they can't write songs. Epitaph proves that they're at the top of the metal world, and they have a vision of music that most of us will never understand.