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And lo, no morphing would transpire - 67%

autothrall, June 11th, 2010

One might see the title to this album, compare it with the previous and then come to the assumption that Dutch Xenomorph were striving a little too hard to be pretentious, to stick out like a sore thumb from the massive blitzkrieg of traditional death metal surrounding them, but really, it doesn't make their contribution any less welcome, because very often these experiments succeed and branch the genre off into unexpected directions. However, considering their slightly experimental nature, I expected that this sophomore album Necrophilia Mon Amour would have diverged a lot more from the sound of the debut. In fact, it does not, and sounds like a natural follow-up, with different vocals and a better rein on the songwriting process.

You can surmise immediately upon hearing "Inside Teradome" that this will be a more focused, brutal effort. The mix of snarled and growled vocals remain; the astute, excellent bass playing, and the combination of death metal punctuality and streams of blackened chords that crash effortlessly against the beat like blood on a rocky shore. The first song here also does not throw one off by including a ska segment, though its overall quality is not exactly to die for. The second, "Neon Black Stronghold" is a pretty typical onslaught of melodic death metal: no shortage of energy, solid but forgettable riffing. Unfortunately, this formula applies to many of the songs on the album, though a few like "Treblinka" and the morose "Magnificat..." are more interesting, in particular the horrifying segue of wailing voices that provides background to the Gothic spoken word in the latter's bridge.

The title track might just be the best overall, with some predictable but effective, melodic hammering that brings the listener just to the edge of rapture before the pummeling thrash of the bridge takes over (though this leads to a nice, bass-driven sequence at around 2:20). "Samedii" and "Dellamorte Dellamore" are acceptable but very straightforward black/death pieces with a few decent riffs strewn through them, and the "In Flagrante Delictor" interlude is a nice, if brief piece of dark ambient with screaming horror samples.

I was expecting Necrophilia Mon Amour to vastly expand upon the band's tendency to think outside of a strict genre confine, but instead it runs with a few of the concepts from the debut and simply strives to perfect them. This is not a miserable album to sit through if you fancy bands like the Swedish Dissection, Lord Belial or Marduk to a fault, though it's not as sinister or effective as the greater works of that scene, and ultimately almost as quickly forgotten as the debut.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

Talk about "intensity" - 88%

Milo, October 29th, 2007

“Necrophilia Mon Amour” teaches how to craft an album based on mixed genres. However, this is not an easy task. A lot of albums just fail when they try their hand even at simpler ideas, like a black/death or thrash metal amalgam. Frequently, these attempts sound contrived, too worried about making each genre distinct, resulting at loss of cohesion (Hi Belphegor). Sometimes, “Tara” doesn’t sound nearly as black as I’d want.

There’s hope, though. The way NMA combines black metal and death metal is absolutely astonishing and incredibly natural. There’s no choppy arranging of sections or predictable structures (think of “fast blackish riffs as verses, culminating in a heavy, anticlimactic death metal-based chorus, just to show a band can play both genres”). One of the reasons why the interaction is excellent is because of the use of similar guitar tone and techniques for both parts (a lot of tremolo strumming to be found here). Besides that, little rhythm tricks such as the use of counterparts and fills are really efficient at granting fluency to such a busy and hectic album. Everything is so tight, but not to the point of becoming unnatural. Just listen to an album like “Goatreich – Fleshcult” and then listen to this.

Although the guitar work is not complex to the point of being called “technical”, its effectiveness can’t be denied. Blackened, atmospheric tremolo excerpts are successful at developing an unrelenting pace. No waste of time here; everything seems to happen quickly, as the music overpowers and engulfs the listener into an almost… rainy maelstrom of dark emotions. As recommended by good death metal, the songs are composed by many different sections and a lot of them are composed by very compelling, chugging riffs (the track “Lues” is a good example). The drumming is also responsible for all of this cohesion and restlessness. Even if the patterns used aren’t adventurous, there’s a lot of speed, the intensity goes thru the roof and the drummer manages to keep everything tied up. It’s kinda hard to explain, but the album seems to be happening under a terrible downpour at late night. “Necrophilia Mon Amour” is constant, atmospheric and immersive. Blackened elevator metal this isn’t.

Consistent and INTENSE all the way to the end, “Necrophilia Mon Amour” is a great album. Not just “solid”, but really impressive and also a proof that equilibrium can be reached when mixing different genres. When’s the new Xenomorph coming out by the way? I can’t wait.

Very refreshing stuff - 96%

HEADTHRASHER, February 13th, 2006

This disc begins without mercy, no intro nor anything, the devastation of this chaotic quintet assaults you without hesitation with "Inside Teradome", it’s a technical Brutal Death Metal very brushed (taking for granted that the recording and the production are insurmountable), with many tempos, fresh and wild riffs, excellent theme to begin this overkill disc; we continue with "Neon Black Stronghold", is violent but in a very versatile and creative form, which is not common in these times, first big goal of the UHBW (division of FREEBIRD RECORDS for Metal bands) with this bestial album.

The third theme is "Treblinka" that is more oriented to Black Metal, is really admirable, it seemed the lost song of infernal "The Secrets of the Black Arts" by DARK FUNERAL but with a Death touch quite XENOMORPH. We continue with the song that gives title to this torture "Necrophilia Mon amour ", is a little slower and has melodic parts, but anything out of place, everything makes sense.

Track five is titled "In Flagrant Delicto", lasts 43 seconds and works like "intermission", here we listened only to a storm in the distant and yells of a woman that in the end are confused with the macabre laughter of some grotesque being. The following hymn is "Lues", we received more dose of good Death Metal in the vein of MORBID ANGEL, KRISIUM and MORTICIAN to later pass to a slower theme "Magnificat, my soul doth magnify the lord", but that soon is transformed into a total blood bath, here you will be able to listen to old school riffs in addition of changes in the bass-drums rhythm truly remarkable.

The eighth ritual takes by title "Samedii", in fact at this point you are absolutely annihilated by this reign of terror or you will be irremediably with the following theme "Hang em' high on holocaust stakes of frozen methane", Black Metal reminiscences, exciting riffs; more or less in the middle of the theme it returns to a slow tempo and a cleaner sound, creating a Black Metal atmosphere that starting from there inserts fast and slow tempos to finish in a very ethereal way.

It closes this tyrant jewel the theme "Dellamorte Dellamore", song quite related with the first theme, closing therefore the circle. I am absolutely surprised by the talent of these Dutch; they demonstrate fully that the brutality is not excuse for the lack of technique, creativity and audacity. I had not feel not even a little moment of monotony or boring while listening to the admirable "Necrophilia Mon amour".