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Black Moon Rising? - 90%

Priest_of_Evil_666, October 10th, 2005

Necrophobic – Darkside

After releasing the stunning debut Nocturnal Silence that took the metal world by storm all eyes were upon Necrophobic. There was an uneasy silence, bridged with a single featuring a new track Spawned by Evil, complete with some cool cover songs. David Parland (aka Blackmoon) was busy with Dark Funeral but returned albeit briefly, to contribute to the Necrophobic cause. Parland was not to stay with Necrophobic and although he highly disapproved of the production of Darkside (what the hell happened to the bass…) musically speaking it was a nicely crafted piece of melodic and aggressive black-death that he contributed a lot too. Packed with trademark Necrophobic aggression it remains a mystery why this band appeared to fall off the radar after their critically acclaimed debut.

All Things Darkside:

Darkside heralds the beginning of Tobias Sidegard’s role as vocalist, filling the big shoes Anders Strokirk left behind - Tobias proving to have an equally intimidating aural posture with his acid snarl and at times gruff, deathlike growls. Darkside reportedly said to be recorded between an eclipse of the moon and of the sun at Sunlight Studios; it was also destined to be the closing chapter of Mr. Parland’s involvement with Necrophobic, the opening track marked ironically with the lyrics “I see the Black moon rising”.

Blackmoon is the first song to fall upon our ears, music and its generic lyrics (forests, wolves, twilight) courtesy of D.Parland - a song coined after his Dark Funeral persona… Blackmoon begins as trade mark D.P piece; a blitz of chords that never actually reach maximum speed and you never really notice - it cruises along in a most evil fashion; beefy, catchy metal encouraging you to sing along. Using this track to open the disc is obviously a testament of exactly how much Necrophobic appreciate D.Ps input though one of Necrophobics strong points lies in the ability of all their members to contribute to song and lyric writing. Track two Spawned by Evil is served up exactly as on the single, a fast (possibly the fastest track on Darkside), ruthless delivery with a truckload of guitar solos. With Necrophobic you can always count on great breaks, punishing riffs and a subterranean plethora of guitar solos! Bloodthirst is co-written by Parland, Halfdahn and Sterner (long time Necrodrummer) more on par with Blackmoon regarding the general pace and feel with a good slather of memorable, up-tempo moments.

Episode one, no, not the star wars movie but the first in a series of instrumentals on this disc. Tobias Sidegard is the master of this excursion and it’s rather refreshing in the vein of forest - medieval atmosphere piece, not too complicated or to long and not all that dissimilar to what we might expect to hear from Wongraven. Darkside breaks the melancholic spell post haste with brutal bar chords in total Dark Funeral style. Four bars of total blitzkrieg onslaught ending as dramatically as it started - all that remains is one guitar plowing through the corpses in a most jubilantly pompous manner; this rollicking black riff will stick in your head until Armageddon along with its words “Satan take my soul” that soon join the piece; cue the drum roll and other instruments, bang your head! Moving right along it’s time to be treated to another entertaining instrumental moment c/o T. Sidegard (have I mentioned he also is behind half the artwork on display here as well as the deathly voice in your ears) shorter than the last and a relatively unobtrusive mood enhancer.

Nailing the Holy One features Jon Nodiveidt on vocals (every second line to be precise) it’s a bloodcurdling effort, packed with venom spat at a rate unconscionable, a very exhausting and liberating track with a rolling break and a melody harking back to early Slayer days. With a welcome change to the mayhem we digest the third instrumental written by Halfdahn, a highly melodious electric guitar piece as opposed the previous piano/keyboard compositions by Sidegard. The last official track Christian Slaughter you can literally hear the buzzsaws churning through the flesh of the pure it ends with a horn wailing in the background, adding to the eerie atmosphere of Satan’s armies murderous crusade.

In short, Necrophobic have opted for a harsher sound than their debut; replacing the thick, warm guitars with icy tones placing it in a more black metal looking box but it’s still classic Necrophobic – if you already like them you wont be too disappointed - a little faster all round than their previous effort and a touch more black.