Necrophobic
Death to All

Necrophobic’s last album, Hrimthursum, threw me for a loop initially, mainly because of the stylistic expansion from the album before, Bloodhymns, which was one of my favorites from 2002. It wasn’t as though the Swedes did any kind of about-face on that album, one that I rated quite highly in the end; I just found it to be a case of the impressive level jump in song dynamics coming – to some extent anyway – at the expense of the pure primal aggression of its predecessor. I know that I’m splitting hairs here and more than likely it is because nostalgia for the melodic thrash/death of Bloodhymns colored my objectivity. So my glee at the return to form of Death to All should come as no surprise. It also shouldn’t be taken as any kind of condemnation of Hrimthursum – not by a long shot.

Quite simply, Death to All is the Necrophobic I came to know and love. It hits with the same direct impact as Bloodhymns, yet still offers a relatively higher degree of song dynamics, though not to the extent that Hrimthursum does. The atmospheric touches have been pulled back, only appearing briefly for accent purposes on tracks like “For Those who stayed Satanic” and “The Tower,” and in both instances work well. The same can be said for the multipart, nine-minute title track, which includes ominous light picking, some acoustic bits, and more choral effects, yet blisters and lacerates just as effectively as the remaining tracks. In other words, Death to All is closer in style to Bloodhymns, yet retains elements of the expansionism of Hrimthursum, and still includes those blackened tinges.

But for lovers of the older style like myself, it is a song like opener “Celebration of the Goat” that is definitive Necrophobic. It is that pure evilness wrapped around unrelenting rhythms, darkly melodic harmonies, and those impeccably patterned vocals that owe as much to Slayer as Unleashed. Catchy in a snarled-face/fist-pumping kind of way, Death to All is filled with home run hitters too – “Revelation 666,” “Temple of Damnation,” you name it. It is as complete an album as they’ve ever recorded and is just a little extra satisfying for those of us smitten with the early works. Mandatory listening.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
June 2nd, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Desperado

    Nice review dude,I’ve been spinning this one and their last few alot lately,great stuff!


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