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First time I heard this album, right after it’s release I was delighted! It’s essential fusion of brutal Death Metal and classical music is more than satisfying to my ears.
The progressions of riffs are natural and pleasant; “it seems like listening to Beethoven or Mozart!” said a friend of mine who doesn’t listen to metal music at all. I asked him again if the music is too brutal for his taste, I will shut it down but he answered: ”On no! Actually it’s very calming, I had stressful day and this is relaxing.” I think this view of non-metal listener tells something.
The most amazing thing about this album is the clarity of production. You can hear every note of every instrument anytime! This is very, very rare thing considering we are talking about high speed metal music with lots of blasts, complex riffing, progressive rhythms. Production lefts that opened feeling, like there is still plenty room to put another instrument, let’s say keyboards, and it would still sound great! I just love it!
Being musician myself I’m considering Epitaph as a real masterpiece of modern tech. metal that is surely going to become the part of history. I think that this album sets new standards and gives huge inspiration how progressive/brutal metal music should sound.
Guitar riffs are really complex and difficult to play; lots of string skipping, alternate picking, arpeggio technique is mostly used in solos. Although some might say that riffs and rhythms are nothing special, but just listen “Diminished to B” or “Symbiotic in Theory” and you’ll find complexity and simplicity coexisting in this songs. The song structures can only be compared with virtuosity of classical compositors.
This is really music full of extremes. There are very few death metal bands that can sound so brutal and so mellow at the same time. The result is very fluid and melodic music with right amounts of aggression that in the end leaves powerful impression. All instruments are equal, with slight domination of guitars (mostly because of solos). Vocal is probably the least dominant, monotone and deep pitched grind, but it adds to the brutality factor that puts Necrophagist to the list of brutal metal bands. With different (singing) vocal they could be easily put to power metal category. Drum playing is awesome! Can be easily compared to style of Richard Christy of Death. Very percussive and straight rhythmic but with those little fills and cuts that make it sound more progressive and virtuoso. Bass is also strong playing wise, and plays it’s own patterns rather than doubling guitar all the time. With few cool licks in between it gives the definite power to band performance. I like very much that bass is actually equal with guitars and not hiding behind the guitar sound like in many cases of fast and brutal music.
With no doubt Necrophagist is one of the most amazing, jaw-dropping live acts that can easily compete with genius and virtuosity of bands like Nile, Cryptopsy, Opeth. Once you hear them live you’ll know why I’m say this. Now after extremely successful tour in Europe and USA, it’s likely to see Necrophagist being on of the major brutal metal acts starting with their next release in 2008. featuring amazing Marco Minnemann on drums. Just can’t wait for new album!