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A solid follow up to 'onset of putrefaction' - 90%

PerArdua, August 29th, 2004

'Epitaph' is the follow-up to the classic album 'Onset of Putrefaction.' This album combines crushing arpeggios and extremely technical guitar riffs for an awesome display of technical death metal.

Track one - Stabwound: This song starts off extremely fast and technical, reminiscent of 'Onset of Putrefaction' soon comes in a crushing sweep/tap lead fill which leads right into Muhammeds growls. Bringing the brutal technicality back to this song. Throughout the song that same lead fill shows it's head again, the second time leading into a solo full of Harmonic Minor Arpeggios and harmonized parts. The song gets more technical the farther you get into it. I killer opener.

Track two - The StillBorn one : This song is a change of pace, it's very slow, throughout the verse and chorus. This song has a very interesting 'solo' it's two notes with what i think is a tremelo bar in between them. Then the song suddenly picks up with some technical riffs, and even a riff straight from Beethoven's 'Fur Elise' is thrown into the mix. The second solo is full of speed picking and crushing arpeggios that match the speed of the song, though i think this solo is a bit overdone. The song ends with the slow part from the beginning of the song.

Track three - Ignominious and Pale: This song begins with a very technical riff, for which Necrophagist is known for but the song doesn't uphold this speed, it soon slows down before picking up speed again in the second verrse, this speed leads perfectly into the solo, this solo like most of the others is full of harmonies and speedy arpeggios. Through the rest of the song, there is an alternating pattern between speed and slower riffs.

Track four - Diminished to b: This song also starts of fast, and blows your mind with it's technicality throughout, this is the song that sounds most like 'Onset of Putrefaction' in my opinion. Throughout this song there is mind blowing technicality and crushing growls matched by squeling harmonics. The solo is not something to be overlooked either, it matches Necrophagist's reputation of harmonic minor solos and technicality, though sweeps are conspicuosly absent in this solo, it's quite good nonetheless. Towards the end of the song, seemingly out of nowhere a slower riff rears it's head to sort of end the song.

Track five - Epitaph: The title track, starts off extremely fast and extremely technical with some sweeps in the beginning of the song to set the pace. This song remains extremely technical through the verse, up until the interlude with a few chords and pinch harmonics. Then back into the roaring technicality, followed by the interlude again. The solo is what you would expect from Necrophagist, it starts off slow then picks up the pace with some nice licks. This whole song is extremely technical.

Track six - Only Ash Remains: This song starts off with a sick bass solo, followed by a guitar solo playing relatively the same thing but a few octaves higher. This song is high energy throughout, parts of this song the guitar parts aren't that fast, but it still stays high energy. Alot of the riffs in this song take on more of a progressive edge, sort of like the progressive works of the famed, Death. The solo to this song utilizes the Spanish Phrygian mode, including sweeping and speed picking. The song throws you a HUGE twist at the end, ending with Necrophagist's version of "The Capulets and the Montagues" from Romeo and Juliet (atleast that's what i believe it is.)

Track seven - Seven: This song also reminds me of the progressive works of Death, atleast at the beginning. Then, comes one of the fastest riffs on the album. Then in comes the progressive side of Necrophagist again, this is a side which we did not see on 'Onset of Putrefaction' very much. The solo is nothing short of amazing on this track. The rest of the track alternates between the 'Death' style of progressive and Necrophagist's unique technicality.

Track eight - Symbiotic in Theory: This song is extremely technical throughout, as is the rest of the album. There is a killer lead fill (not as good as Stabwounds lead fill, but good nonetheless) then back to the crushing technicality in the verse, along with some change of pace with some generic death metal chords followed by more technical riffs, leading into the lead fill, which in turn leads into the solo. The solo is a slower one, though it does include some fast licks, the song suddenly picks up in the middle of the solo, in turn the solo picks up speed before coming back into the lead fill, letting it echo with delay, as the verse riff comes back in and halts abruptly.

This album is full of complex arrangements and technical guitar riffing, not to mention the mind blowing solos. This album is a solid follow-up to 'Onset of Putrefaction.' For any band other than Necrophagist, this album would have scored higher but 'Onset of Putrefaction' is a tough album to follow.
Great album, nonetheless.