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Can you say boring? - 55%

o2w4e, April 12th, 2007

After being barraged with a never-ending stream of hype on the band Necrophagist, I decided to listen to what all the fuss was about and see for myself. I chose their newest album “Epitaph.” Expecting Chuck Schuldiner’s heir, I was severely disappointed. This album is a collection of some of the most generic and dull death metal I’ve ever heard. I couldn’t believe so much hype would come from the heavy metal underground on a band this bad. The album is not very coherent. There are very few memorable riffs, more, a collection of technical riffs with nothing tying them together. The vocals are bad, simply put. The drums are calculated and predictable. The best part of “Epitaph” is the bass playing, which is actually very good.

The guitars on this album are technical, yet not what they’ve been hyped to be. There are way more technical bands out there. The solos are boring and lack direction. Endless wanking up and down scales is not good guitar playing, period. These solos belong in a guitar clinic, not on a death metal album. After reading reviews and comments in forums about this band, I never expected such a weak guitar performance. These guys are great technical players, not so much great players though. The whole album is just an endless stream of fret wankery with no riffs and weak soloing. It seems as if they are afraid to get outside of certain scales and it totally limits their playing. They follow the rules TOO closely. Any great guitarist learns the rules of music theory, then learns that the most important rule is to learn how and when to break them. Necrophagist are yet to learn this rule, and their playing is lacking because of it.

There is not much to say for the vocals of this album. They lack any variety whatsoever. The vocalist has no range to speak of. Just typical low death metal growls. It becomes extremely monotonous by the end of the second song. As for the lyrics, it seems as if they were aiming for a philosophical feel but they accomplished only a jumbled bunch of words that make very little sense.

The drumming is just generic technical death drumming with a few odd rhythms here and there. There’s not much to speak of in this area. It’s just constant blast-beating all to hell and back for the most part.

The high point of the album is the bass. There is a couple amazing bass solos on the album, most notably at the beginning of the track “Only Ash Remains.” The bass player opens up the song with a mind-blowing solo that is all too short-lived; then those tasteless guitars come in with a dual harmony and crush my excitement. The only thing holding this album together is the times that the bass is allowed to shine through. This is one of the greatest bass albums I’ve ever heard.

Overall, there is very little to commend on this album. The high points are the song 'Seven,' which allows the bass player to show off his talents, and the beginning bass solo on the song 'Only Ash Remains.' The guitar playing is uninspired and lacks any coherence throughout the songs. The vocals are just very bad generic death metal vocals, as stated before. The drumming doesn’t bring anything interesting to the mix. Again, the incredible bass playing is the only good point about this album. Otherwise, it’s bad. Period.