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A real must have in everyone's collection - 94%

dismember_marcin, February 25th, 2011

I wonder if many of you have been surprised when Necrophobic released their second album, "Darkside". OK, maybe after the "Spawned by Evil" MCD one cold expect even darker and more evil music coming from the Swedish band, especially if we compare it to the "The Nocturnal Silence" debut... But myself I was quite surprised to get something what basically is almost pure black metal album. Of course it all depends how you want to classify it, as bands like Dissection are for some death metal, others will call it black metal... And maybe it doesn't even matter at all, as long as the music is great, but really, "Darkside" is little bit different from the debut - much blacker.

Of course a lot of it has to do with the fact that it was David Parland, a'ka Blackmoon, who wrote majority of the album. It's funny that he wasn't even in the band anymore at the time of recording "Darkside" (he was replaced by Sebastian Ramstedt from bands called Exhumed / Morpheus). Blackmoon had his very original way of writing music, focusing on melody and choruses, but playing it at great speed - something he wonderfully developed on Dark Funeral's "Secrets of the Black Arts" masterpiece and in his band Infernal. "Darkide" has more melodic and probably more structured songs than these two though; in some way they're the finest examples of combining the black metal atmosphere with death metal's melodic riffing - put together Dark Funeral's debut, Necrophobic's debut and Dissection's first two albums and this is exactly what "Darkside" sounds like. Dissection's "Somberlain" must have been a great influence for Necrophobic. Listen to such songs as "Spawned by Evil" and "Darkside" and tell me, isn't it very close to that band? But the songwriting on "Darkside" is great. I really, really, like all the songs from it. They just have everything I would like to hear from such band... They're well diversified, fast or mid paced, with choruses, melodic, but very uncompromising and brutal. And have this great sinister, evil atmosphere. It's even hard to decide, which song I like best, as they're all pretty even. "The Call" and "Spawned by Evil" are two of the finest, also this fast fucker titled "Nailing the Holy One", but really, there's not a bad song here. Maybe putting three instrumental tracks on such a short album could be controversial, but I think they add an extra atmosphere into the whole concept.

There're two songs that Parland didn't participate in composing of... The first one was composed by Martin Halfdan only and is surprisingly slow, but still highly melodic song, which really stands aside from majority of the album, as it hasn't got that viciousness and satanic feeling. It's pretty calm I can describe it. Then the closing track was composed by Halfdan and drummer Joakim Sterner. I must say that "Christian Slaughter" also seems slightly different. OK, it does fit to the album perfectly, but somehow has different kind of playing and the song structure is different. Good anyway!

Lyric wise the album is pretty bad he, he. Let's be honest - it's not the best poetry ever written. Some of the lyrics like the one for "Spawned by Evil" are almost infantile. Oh come on - verse like: "Lord of lords, god of gods, Lead me to the altar where the virgin waits for me. I suck and drink from her cunt" brings nothing, but smile to my face he, he. Besides, how many times one could read about moons, drinking or spilling blood or wandering in the cold night? Hmm, of course it was very common theme for the lyrics among the Swedish bands back then - if you read lyrics from bands like Vinterland or A Canorous Quintet, you'll get something very alike. Let's just say such lyrics have its charm and dark mood, but they're bunch of nonsense. There's a lot of anger and hatred towards christianity as well, "Nailing the Holy One" partly sang by Jon Nödtveidt, is its best examples. Poor Jesus, they really give him a hard time here he, he.

You know what's the biggest value for such albums as "Darkside" or "Somberlain" or "The Nocturnal Silence" and many other, not just Swedish, classics? I can listen to them many, many times, I could know these albums for years - yeh, "Darkside" was released in 1997 - and these LPs still kick ass hard and don't get boring. This is the best proof for the quality of this music. A real must have in everybody's collection, if you ask me...