Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Forbidden Pleasure - 90%

Byrgan, April 15th, 2005

Necrophagia dates back to 1984 and comes from the Midwestern state of Ohio in the US of A. A band that put out multiple demos prior to their '87 debut here: Season of the Dead. Shortly after this album the band would split for some time, and be later reformed with only the original singer Killjoy.

The main production point on SOTD was to create a horror movie like atmosphere, with the instrumentation of dark and deadly death-thrash. Just like a horror movie, you need effects to create a shadowed atmosphere. Some would suggest plenty of fog and plenty of blood. A translation of this would be reverb to distort, and bloody lyrics to disgust. Reverb is blanketed on top of every instrument, as well as other uncanny, cloaking effects, and loads of distortion. To add a few twists and turns, there are sound bits panned across the recording: one being the sounds of bats chirping and flapping their wings, and the other being a sample from the early 80's movie The Evil Dead. Another stand out aspect is on the first track, which has an astounding instrumental piece, streamlined with clean guitars and an eerie choir to back it up; then, to slash its way into your pounding heart, a mid-song transition of their classic thrashy death metal sound to begin the countdown of the album.

The first instrument to give the breath of life, but to blacken your lungs and cause death by metal is the guitars. Madison's beastly guitar playing will go from extreme double picked sections to dual guitar lines. The dual guitar riffs bleed through towards the final breath of the album. The best part about the guitars is the production. There's so much reverb, that it gives the effect of a near-dark, noisome, creepy-creaking house, with you fumbling in a panic stricken commotion at each unknown noise passing by you at closer and closer intervals. When he pulls out solos, which is showcased about every other song, the sound level usually takes over and becomes louder than the rest. The complexity isn't really there but the forethought is. The bass guitar sounds like it might have a slight distortion added. Usually it can be heard underneath the electric guitars playing along with a basic rhythm, and during some highlighted sections as well.

First off, and I hate to say it: the drums are the weakest link of the album. Sound-wise they are great, being loaded with surplus amounts of effects like the rest. But they lack a steadied direction. For the most part he is on time, but he just hits simple fills and breaks and 'just passes' to get the job done. No leading adventurousness, just a following along to the main expeditionaries. However, here and there he abuses the double bass pedals. And during some slower parts he uses the toms to do simple patterned beats to keep the vocals in check. Killjoy's voice is the last demolishing piece to wield its blood-stained hammer. The weirdest part about this record is the transition of the vocals. The demos retain raspy vocals and screams but are still on time with the rest of the music. Although, here on Season of the Dead he changed it up, but luckily not for the worst. Basically his vocals became more or less raspified talking. Stylistically when the music is playing he tells his gore-obsessed tale overtop, and doesn't worry about were he vocalizes. He begins and ends with the start and finish of riffs, but in between, that's another story. To me, personally, I can't complain. Because it adds to the atmosphere and you feel as if you have a narrator as you are slowly dying in a graveyard full of surreal noises and melodies.

My least bit of a complaint is Joe Blazer's less than heavy drum fills. His sound is great, it is just he could have been more structured with the rest of the music. The other side of this output is a great death-thrash release. From the reverb intoxicated guitars to the raspy, narrative-like vocals to the more than present bass guitar. Season of the Dead is a high recommendation in my book. Later listening to the original LP, compared to the CD, it has a slightly rougher sound quality to it. Whichever version someone gets their talons on, they can hear an atmospheric horror themed album, from the production to the instruments, and from the titles to the lyrics. Season of the Dead was like a score for a moody horror movie that never came out. Or even comparative to a soundtracked read along for a short atmospheric horror novel.