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This isn’t the darkest, most evil album I’ve ever heard, but Necrophobic always had a knack for creating some twisted shit. Sinful while at the same time melodic, this band blends well the traits of black metal into death metal. Therefore, tremolo and a razor-like guitar tone is the par for the course, with vocals tortured and drums you can expect more on the stomping end than the prancing one. Every song here is a stab against all that is holy or a virgin; a wise choice of enemies.
It’s difficult to identify the better vocalist: Anders or future frontman Tobias. Both have mutilated growls and terrifying screams full of agony, both share no mercy for the weak, and I believe their voices add a spiritual touch to the despicable style of Parland. Parland himself doesn’t let up once on the riffs – reminding me of Morbid Angel if they got their shit together. The riffs here are fast and depraved or thrashy and vile – very sharp, but not thin or thick like Dismember’s chainsaw distortion. Drums follow along with blast beasts, checkered timing, and fun beats to drive along with. Solos aren’t sparse, but they aren’t showstoppers either; more emphasis is given to the evoking, blasphemous essence of song build-ups.
For instance, the title track (my favorite on the album), broods into hellish territory with the most malevolent clean guitar prod I’ve ever heard. It’s so nasty that I imagine Satan using it as a battle anthem for his offensive against Heaven. Picture that: hordes of demons and all other evil shitlings storming the gates – laying waste, raped angels, and a final battle to end all battles. The sound of the drums is clear, though the double bass is buried pretty badly. I hoped to have a little more chunkiness from it, since the hats and toms are perfect sounding for this music. Atmosphere also I wish was a little bit more haunting like Immortalis’ album.
That may be asking a little much, since herein the riffs are enough to carry the album. “Inborn Evil” and “The Ancients Gate” both are fantastic follow-ups to the title track, delving into cross-grumbling classical lead riffs, proving that melody can be induced effectively without sacrificing grit and style. I’m surprised that bass isn’t more prominent in the music; you really can’t hear it all that well. Not that it kills the music or anything, but the album could have been more wicked had the bass been bumped up.
Lastly, that cover art should have been scrapped. The colors are all good: red, purple, and black are a great combination, but that just looks way too cartoony. Now Darkside… that utilized these three colors damn well, but we’ll get to that later.