Thursday, 7 June 2012

CD Review: Epitaph, by Necrophagist (2004)

The second album by Germany's Necrophagist delivers high quality technical death metal, full of intricate compositions rich with thoughtful embroidery and jazz shadings. The enjoyment to be found within Epitaph is a function of tolerance for music that is relatively melody-free in the traditional sense.

The tracks are all energetic, fast-paced and frantic, with frequent signature changes and sudden stops. The music mimics the movements of a highly caffeinated hummingbird astounded by a garden full of colourful flowers. Trying to predict where the next note will land is an exercise in futility, but there is assurance that whatever the note is, it will be confidently delivered.

The solos come and go often within seconds, the briefest of melodies make cameos before being chased away with fury, and Muhammed Suicmez's low growl dominates the general sense of carnage.

As usual in this genre, the slightly slower moments are pregnant with the promise of what happens when a deliberate frame replaces all the flying hammers. The second half of Diminished To B almost latches on to a cohesive structure, but the surrender is most uncooperative. Track seven, helpfully titled Seven, starts with a cerebral pause, before taking off and joining all the rest of the blurry fast forward action.

Epitaph deliver reliable unreliability, Necorphagist highly technical and strictly espoused to the concept of never allowing much of a theme to interrupt the pursuit of scientifically precise fireworks.


Christian Muenzner - Guitar
Hannes Grossmann - Drums
Sefan Fimmers - Bass
Muhammed Suicmez - Guitar, Vocals

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Stabwound - 7
2. The Stillborn One - 7
3. Ignominions and Pale - 7
4. Diminished To B - 7
5. Epitaph - 7
6. Only Ash Remains - 7
7. Seven - 7
8. Symbiotic In Theory - 7

Average: 7.00

Produced by Muhammed Suicmez.
Mastered by Bob Katz.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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