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Necrofancy - 88%

GuntherTheUndying, September 20th, 2011

You may not be aware of Goreaphobia's legacy, but these veterans of old-school death metal have been making sacrifices in the name of Dagon since 1988, and "Apocalyptic Necromancy" is the band's second full-length album released during the twenty-plus years of morbidity and death-based depravity that Chris Gamble and Alex Bouks have thrown upon the masses. "Apocalyptic Necromancy" proves Goreaphobia has finally found an isle of timely stability and dedication that rivals the group's dependable discography. The songwriting is pristine in its own shell of filth, whereas Goreaphobia’s instrumental onslaught yields several noteworthy moments that reek of primitive death metal that's hungry for your brain and your soul.

Much like Goreaphobia's "Mortal Repulsion," this record resurrects the essence and spirit of dark-themed death metal through monumental musicianship usually stirred in a mid-paced direction that includes many qualities of prototypical death metal, like harsh vocals or sickening grooves and hooks one might dub Incantation-ish. The album starts with a deafening collage of bestial riffs exploding underneath Gamble's growling vocals and aggressive drums that refuse to loosen the stranglehold; quite self-prophetic stuff, really. Everything else is simply a continuation of this merciless onslaught, with short jabs like "The Attractor" paying homage to the roiling, grooving edge of old-school death metal or the peeling tremolo picking throughout "Sigil on Death's Hand," which again heaves acidic gunk all over the place.

Much of the running time keeps the scriptures and rules of Goreaphobia at the head of the album, but the strange "White Wind Spectre" conjures a jam-like postulate which revolves around a mechanical bass groove and Gamble's esoteric vocals for over seven minutes. It's an odd number, but it still fits into the macabre scenery in an interesting fashion. The closing "Rust Worms and the Noxious Fevers They Bring" seems even heavier after experiencing the preceding monolith which showcases another side of darkness within Goreaphobia's chambers, and the duo together close the record almost perfectly. When it comes to Goreaphobia, you pretty much get what you expect, but that's why "Apocalyptic Necromancy" rules.

I remember hearing about Goreaphobia around the time "Mortal Repulsion" was to be released, and I found everything about the band to be magnificent for a reason I couldn't put my finger on at the time. That reason has been revealed: Goreaphobia represents everything death metal should be. Their entire discography is possessed with old-school dirt that chomps like a hungry shark, and thankfully none of the group's horrific habits were dropped during this excellent slab of maggot-infested death metal. "Apocalyptic Necromancy" is a fantastic dive into Goreaphobia if you've never experienced the spell of these American monsters, or you can listen to some fake death metal from the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder or Whitechapel, because real death metal isn't for everyone. Those of you with brain cells and knowledge, take note of this wonderful exhibition.

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