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Necrophobic have been around for as long as I have (18 years). To me, Necrophobic have always been a black metal band. The reason for this was, until last night, I hadn't heard anything from Necrophobic which could be classed as "death metal" and in fairness, this is their only full-length which is closest to death metal.
When I got this album, I was expecting a real blast. My reaction was similar to: "Alright! Necrophobic! This is gonna be a solid piece of black metal." However, my reaction at the end was some what different. As soon as the vocals on this album started, I knew this wasn't going to be black metal, rather blackened death metal. This album really was the first of its kind. It seems almost unintentionally that Necrophobic created this. Obviously, before this release, they were making full, solid death metal but when they started recording this, black metal started to influence them. Thus we get death metal with black metal influences hence: blackened death metal.
As stated above, it seems almost unintentionally they released the genre defining album of blackened death metal. The guitar riffs on here sound very much like death metal ala bands such as Bloodbath. Usually, heavy and fast. The riffs are usually fairly complex and the songs have a lot of variety in them, so you won’t get bored listening to them.
The soloing here was excellent. David Parland in my opinion is a great guitarist, so it's no wonder that the solos kick so much ass. Necrophobic have always been a band that have great solos. The solos on this album are long, skillful and epic and sound a lot like the stuff you'd hear on a black metal album. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying death metal solos are devoid of talent. Just listen to Blood Red Throne if you need proof of this but the solos on here really do sound like the stuff you're going to find on a black metal album. Probably the reason for this is because Dave was involved with the Swedish black metal band Dark Funeral, whom he left this band for.
The vocals are the epitome of blackened death. They are in the midpoint between black metal and death metal. He does a decent job, let me just say he's a lot better than Tobias Sidegård who is, at best, a pretty mediocre black metal vocalist (by the time he took over vocal duties, Necrophobic were playing black metal.)
The production is between, big budget production and the raw production of black metal. This seems to be one of the black metal influences on this album. The production probably was some sort of bridge between the true genres if you will. From decent production to raw production.
I can now understand why this band calls themselves death metal. As stated before, up until now, I always considered Necrophobic to be a black metal band. However, it really is ridiculous that people still call them death metal; after all, Hrimthrusum was a black metal album, pure and simple. After The Nocturnal Silence, Necrophobic would move onto to become a black metal band (if you need proof just listen to Darkside). Even here, the black metal elements are noticeable, e.g. the song names, the artwork, solos. Why Necrophobic became black metal who knows, perhaps it was subtle and they didn't really notice it. Or maybe because, at the time, "It was normal in European countries for black metal enthusiasts to terrorize other notable death metal bands that were touring” (source Wikipedia). This album was released in 1993, so that's still when the Black Circle was around and they did have members in Sweden (notably Jon from Dissection). Whatever, the reason, this is a solid piece of blackened death metal, which really did, go onto define a genre.
Conclusion: The above is recommended for download or purchase.