Necrophagist - Epitaph review
|Release date:||August 2004|
02. The Stillborn One
03. Ignominious & Pale
04. Diminished To B
06. Only Ash Remains
08. Symbiotic In Theory
"You think a band can't be Brutal and Technical at the same time? You are wrong dude, Necrophagist is one of those bands that merge brutality with complexity." This is what Herzebeth wrote in his review about Necrophagist first album, "Onset of Putrefaction", released in 1999. I decided to quote it because it perfectly describes the music of this band. The only thing that I would change in Herzebeth's sentence is the following: with the new album "Epitaph", Necrophagist shows itself to be not only "one of those bands", but definitely the best technical death metal band nowadays.
If the debut album was performed by the leader Muhammed Suicmez, who played all the instruments and used a machine drum, "Epitaph" bears the mark of a real band and the production is better, extremely powerful and very accurate.
What distinguishes Epitaph from other brutal death metal releases is the sound of the guitars and bass. The guitar riffing is highly technical, much closer to the thrash style, with classical palm muting, irregular chords and harmonics. Every song has an incredibile guitar solo in the middle. Muhammed is a very talented guitarist with a neoclassical influence and this gives the songs a fantastic and original flavour. The bass is also amazing and very technical and reminds me of Steve Di Giorgio's playing in "Individual Thought Patterns" by Death.
There is no best song in this album. Every song is a perfect mix of complex drums rhythm and brutal guitar riffs with a light sense of melody. Let's consider track no. 6, "Only Ash Remains". The beginning is something crazy: first a bass solo, then a guitar solo, and then guitar and bass finish playing solo in harmony. Do you want more?. A fast drum beat, deep growls, then a slower section, another astonishing guitar solo. The end of this song sounds like something I've never heard in a death metal album before: guitar plays an upbeat tempo in a reggae style, the drum is slow, the lead is dark and obscure. The whole is amazing. Enough said.
I could hardly find an album that sounds similar to Epitaph. Sometimes it reminds me of "Millennium" by Monstrosity, a masterpiece of the past decade, but Epitaph is even more technical and varied (believe it or not!). To sum it up, this album does not redefine brutal death metal, but it takes this genre to the highest performance levels. In my opinion, this is the best we can expect.
Highly reccomended? No. Must-have!
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