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Idiosyncratic concept - 73%

Felix 1666, April 4th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2011, CD, Scarlet Records

Four posh Italians try to impress us with thrash metal. I do not know who gave permission for this cover. But never mind, because there are more important things than the fairly strange cover artwork. And everything is fine as long as the elegant business men are Necrodeath in disguise.

Well, everything is fine? Not at all. It may be a triviality, but I do not like albums whose songs have no name. A carefully chosen title can fire your imagination ("Countess Bathory", "Trapped Under Ice" or "At Dawn They Sleep", just to name a few.) In contrast, "Idiosyncrasy Part I-VII" does not evoke any emotions. I do not want to make a mountain out of a molehill. But the songs appear as faceless, nameless prisoners that are caught in the concept of the full-length. Therefore, the simple enumeration of the pieces leaves me cold. Unfortunately, the same applies to some immature parts of the concept album. I do not wish to say that the output fails to reach an acceptable level. But Necrodeath offers more of the same - so far, so good - without creating a lot of outstanding melodies, riffs or solos. The Italians do not refine their style, neither to good nor to evil. They just do not make full use of their enormous options. In terms of many albums of the competitors, "Idiosyncrasy" can be seen as a strong output. Nevertheless, compared with the strongest outputs of their own discography, the here presented work scored rather poorly.

As usual, Necrodeath present sharp riffs, an expressive vocal performance of Flegias, percussive elements and mostly coherent song structures. The production also falls within the scope of what can be expected. "Idiosyncrasy" does not lack of pressure or clarity. Despite the transparency of the mix, the record does not suffer from a synthetic or soulless sound. But in the case of such an experienced band, one can assume that its members exactly know the sound they want to have. Therefore, a professional and vigorous mix should be just a matter of course.

Nevertheless, something is missing on "Idiosyncrasy". Necrodeath is normally able to generate an atmosphere of furiousness and ferocity. On the here presented full-length, the group seems to be shy of exhibiting its full force. For example, "Part IV" is surprisingly slow without creating a special atmosphere. In addition, it kills the flow of the album. However, this is not the only problem. Too many parts of the tracks fail to release an energizing effect. Of course, the band is able to handle the great number of breaks in a clever way. The relatively complex songs cannot be blamed for lameness. What is more, some sections are really well executed while delivering fairly dramatic guitar lines. But instead of working on innovation, the band rediscovers some well-known stylistic tricks. Once again, they rely on the fascination of a duet of Flegias and a female guest singer. Although this is no new idea, this piece ("Part V") stands out, precisely because of the addition of the guest vocals. Furthermore, it offers a haunting guitar line at the beginning which is able to give you goose bumps. Both the first and the second "Part" also show the songwriting skills of the Italians in a very good way. But in general, it is hardly possible to suppress the feeling that Necrodeath do not reach top form. As already proved, they can do it better.