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eleven delicious courses of blood and grue - 86%

necron313, September 15th, 2004

"Season of the Dead", as might be inferred from the band name, is a highly nutritious blend of vitamin-enriched gore and sickness served on a savory organic bed of mid-to-late 80's death metal. Peculiarly, Necrophagia (and most prominently, their diminutive, splatter-freak-till-death-and-beyond vocalist, Killjoy) never obtained the popular acclaim of similarly-styled bands emerging in the same sliver of time (Morbid Angel, Obituary, Death etc).

One or two spins of the gaping, festering zombified nightmare that is "Season of the Dead" may convince the hapless listener that this album would have been a heinous and fitting death-metal soundtrack to "Evil Dead" or any of the better zombie flicks of the period. The opening (and title) track, is a haunted, melancholic mood-setting acoustic piece that sedates the listener and taps into the darkest reaches of the imagination - whispering of lonely autumn skies, desolate cornfields, graves that will soon open from within, and the unspeakable mockeries of nature which will soon emerge from them in a mindless, perverted hunt for the savory and exquisite entrails of Homo sapiens. :::::licking chops:::::

For those entirely unfamiliar with the Necrophagia sound, songs such as "Ancient Slumber" , "Reincarnation" "Forbidden Pleasure" and "Terminal Vision" offer up a sense of the slow, purposeful and dreadfully painful manner in which Necrophagia devour their victims; Guitarist Larry Madison's riffs are intentionally drudgerous, heavy and belabored. Joe Blazer's drumming has a droning, throbbing quality to it throughout the album, adding to the overall cobwebbed, murky, suspensful feeling of something(s) hideous this way coming. Tying this stinking, maggot-infested, centuried package together is the throaty, mocking, growled voice of Killjoy, which has an unrepentant and inexplicably whispery quality to it throughout. The subdued, dusty and vault-shuttered atmosphere of this album are enhanced by lousy production and an interspersal of delightful and uplifting effects such as (what sounds like) stonework being gradually hauled away from a mausoleum-door and a serenading swarm of ravenous bats flying overhead.

:::shudders uncontrollably::::

This album is arguably the zenith of Necrophagia's works to date.
It is an exaggeratedly creepy, fun, B-grade gore-drenched stomachfull of low-key, somberly guitar-driven originals pulled together by one of early death-metal's most folkloric prognosticators of pus and putrescence (Killjoy). If you like Necrophagia, S.O.T.D. has been in a black trophy in your collection for years; if you're curious, go out and get it before it shambles horribly to your doorstep and gets you.