Necrophobic
Mark of the Necrogram

I must say I enjoy listening to albums of groups like Necrophobic.  I started becoming a fan of underground music as a teenager and Dark Funeral Secrets of The Black Arts was one of the first Swedish black metal albums that really resonated with me. Blackmoon’s influence on Dark Funeral added to the strength of their lineup.  Their 1992 The Nocturnal Silence album is a master classic and is one that I had to revisit before delving into their most recent release.

It has been some time since Necrophobic have released an album with their last effort, The Womb of Lilithu coming out in 2013.  Right off the bat, there is a lot to like with Mark of The Necrogram.  Kristian Wahlin’s cover artwork has the look and shimmer of a classic metal record. What is also refreshing about this release is the reformation of most of the The Nocturnal Silence Lineup.  Vocalist Anders Strokirk has returned along with former guitarists Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergebäck Opening up with the title track, Mark of The Necrogram opens with some older styled tremolo riffs with driving double kick.  The production sounds like this could have been recorded in the late nineties.

“Tsar Bomba” is my favorite track on the album.  It has all of the elements of a good traditional melodic Swedish black death band. Tracks like “Lamashtu” again has the feel of the older Dark Funeral material with the cold, arpeggiated guitar lines and driving drum work. This all builds to something chuck schuldineresque harmonies and leads to a cool blast beat section with layered guitar work.  Most of the tracks on this are roughly four to five minutes in length and seem to all build to a similar type of huge chorus sections.“Pesta” the longest track on the album opens up with a single guitar line and a second enters with volume swells over the other building into a really nice layered heavy melodic intro which builds into a really thrashy verse section that reminds me a bit of old Absu.  I like how this tune builds to a cool bass break section with shrieking guitar accents.

“Crown of Horns” is another icy rager. Necrophobic has a fantastic ability on this record to mix up the melodic elements with thrash elements. I have probably listening to this album start to finish ten or so times now and I think it’s a fun catchy record and if you have been missing out on this sound this is a well-played example of this style. For the most part this is a very solid return to form for Necrophobic and if you were looking for some old school styled melodic blackened Swedish death metal then this should be worth checking out.  Excellent packaging, production and songwriting make this a strong effort from these veterans of underground metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
March 15th, 2018

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