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Necrophobic’s last album left us with no doubt that the band wasn’t still capable of creating something lethal. Just a decade before, the band had a lull in activity between the debut and the sophomore, Darkside. The Third Antichrist wasn’t much (that awful cover art played some role), but from Bloodhymns and on the band got back on track. The two stable axemen now long into the band came from Morpheus, a band that was all about riffs, but without production to aid. All in all, Death To All is the same black metal that’s been heard since the dawn of black metal, but it’s done by Necrophobic in the Necrophobic style – that’s why we keep coming back.
From start to finish, this album is packed with sinister tremolo and ghoulishly low screams amid very tainted atmosphere. This atmosphere isn’t like an aura, but the kind that leaves you on edge, as if your door was going to be kicked down by a bunch of demons. It isn’t a scary feeling, but a menacing one that leaves you powerless. Other than that, it’s an assault from the kick of “Celebration Of The Goat”, through the decisive “Temple Of Damnation”, and on the closer’s traumatizing build-ups. Death To All utilizes melody with bloodcurdling screams, tantalizing blast-beats, brooding bass, and decrepit riffs to bring an experience that’s hellish, haunting, and romantic. That has been Necrophobic’s take since The Nocturnal Silence, and none of it has been truly lost.
All instruments are well conditioned, production lends itself to a more vintage tone, and the band maintains professionalism while still playing aggressive to the point of non-control. It’s a fun album that takes itself very seriously, and that can’t be blamed when the content backs up the context. “Wings Of Death” and “For Those Who Stayed Satanic” are gloomy tracks taking over with total riff hypnoticism without repetition. These songs are straightforward and strikes left and right, so nothing drags.
My one complaint, however, is that the album blows its load too early, much like Entombed’s Left Hand Path. Whereas Entombed gave you their best track as the first one on that album, Necrophobic gives you theirs with their second in “Revelation 666” (should have been the final track). As the lead single for the album, it was a worthy choice. The first half begins commonly with an onslaught of vicious riffs and blasting under Sidegård’s cut-throat growls / screams. The second half, however, is a breathtaking +2 ½ minute outro with a harmonious lead and poignant atmosphere; a measured tempo in a climactic ensemble. Needless to say, I was stunned hearing this the first time. Having listened to Necrophobic for years, I never knew they would get this vivid in terms of composition. It’s an astoundingly melodic, romantic section far and away from the rest of the album that ultimately lands “Revelation 666” as my favorite Necrophobic song.
While not the darkest or most melodic of Necrophobic ‘s catalog, Death To All is certainly very memorable, with “Revelation 666” being the centerpiece that’ll grab anyone’s attention. The album can only be seen as another strong successor in a line of strong ventures. The band takes their time with these, and each one holds true to itself. Death To All is just more proof that the band knows how to stay consistent.