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Death To All! - 98%

GuntherTheUndying, May 21st, 2010

In an age that currently encourages the idea of reunions and new albums, a lot of folks overshadow metal’s finest tribes. The influential and well-aged Necrophobic have been victim of this putrid phenomena. I discovered that “Death to All” is beyond incredible; in fact, it’s definitely one of the best blackened death metal releases I have ever heard, but who talks about it? Not a soul it seems like. However, “Death to All” quickly became a classic I haven’t been able to release after countless listens. Within this album, there is unspeakable might that only few groups could produce with such instrumental clay. For Necrophobic, this is their black tribulation; a calling for cataclysm in blackened death metal that will forever brand this identity with coldness and violence, creating the masterpiece “Death to All” was meant to be.

And yes, I’m being completely serious: “Death to All” is a magnum opus of all sorts. Instrumentally, Necrophobic have perfected the blackened death metal identity through an outstanding balance of symbols based on demonic visions and the chilling breeze of the ninth circle, molded from soil into an idol no sane individual could deny. Throughout their two-decade reign, however, the group’s mysterious symmetry has never looked so sharp or poetic: the band shifts from elusive to illuminated, serious to fun, and determined to light-hearted with magnificent awe that doesn’t go unnoticed. Every song is a journey within itself; marching towards a dark, forbidden place that only Necrophobic can actualize.

Necrophobic’s direction is what it is: ruthless, vicious blackened death metal. Essentially, the cold and hateful tremolo riffs and melodies cursed by death and black metal expel a supernatural conjuration of well-crafted brilliance that absorbs the two genre’s strongest points into a hammering, atmospheric show of twisted malevolence with the darkest of intentions. Below the madness resides Joakim Sterner’s percussion, which is scientifically perfect to the album’s overall flow between an aura of fills and patterns that greatly contribute to the fundamental touch of “Death to All.” If any of this may appear typical for a black/death metal release, there is a settling arrangement of diversity among “Death to All,” particularly organized in masterful patterns that bring songs like “For Those That Stayed Satanic” or “Wings of Death” into grandmaster territory. There is nothing generic to be foreseen; only the golden personification of excellent violence.

This sort of positivism, however, is attached to an undead nimbus of atmospheric revulsion that demonstrates the sheer brilliance that something like “Death to All” can offer when properly written and executed. These contributions, although similar in zeal, are carefully specific and varied beyond the planes of blackened death metal. For example, the straight-forward rush of “Celebration of the Goat” is like a bullet charging towards its target: it gets the point done with no fluff, which is, of course, very nice. Necrophobic’s philosophy nevertheless morphs into other platforms that are equally successful, such as the haunting atmosphere of “The Tower,” or longer landscapes like “Revelation 666” that contain various parts and tempos. My point is simple: Necrophobic’s writing abilities are superb and visionary, leading their charge into the divine darkness blackened death metal represents with utmost power and devotion.

Still, “Death to All” remains a straight-through-the-heart apparatus always standing as the immovable object in Swedish death metal while counteracting any force by art of thrilling tactics under unnamable vehemence. The longtime chemistry between vocalist Tobias Sidegård and Sebastian Ramstedt’s pristine riffs emerge an unholy combination, as their crucial performances lift the overall record above and beyond something any metal fan can easily bite into. There need not be any doubt or ridiculous metaphor about Necrophobic; their chemistry is beyond masterful in every sense during musical channels and the forsaken ambience they have perfected for over two decades of hellish madness. Needless to say, “Death to All” is unquestionably one of their finest stands.

Alas, many will notice anti-primitive cuts like the title track storming through the warfront with acoustic passages or emotional soloing despite the band’s external traditionalism at hand, yet the situational evolutions are perfect additions to Necrophobic’s cosmic demeanor, and forge a record that is truly wonderful on all levels of judgment. So if you haven’t detected any fanboyism coursing through this review’s circulatory system, allow me to spell it out for you: Necrophobic have achieved the blackened death metal masterpiece of the decade. “Death to All” is excellent, divine, and without fault within the blackened death metal field of musical dominance and balanced ideas, perhaps clawing its way to the top of class; a future classic, “Death to All” is not to be missed. In the end, Necrophobic has one ending theme: death to all…forever and ever.

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