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Necropanther - Betrayal review




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Band: Necropanther
Album: Betrayal
Style: Melodic death metal, Blackened thrash metal
Release date: March 2023


01. One And Only
02. Covenant
03. Breathe Evil
04. If You Can Count
05. Into Danger
06. Revenants
07. Wanderers
08. Furies
09. Don't Stop For Death
10. Out To The Sand
11. Betrayal

*clink* *clink* *clink* "Warriors… Come out to play!" *clink* *clink* *clink* "Waaaaarriiioorrrs! Come out to plaaay-aaay!"

After an album that described James Cameron's Terminator, an album based on Frank Herbert's Dune, and an album about the 1976 dystopian movie Logan's Run, the Colorado four-piece band Necropanther return with another gripping, story-driven, thrash record for their fourth release. Betrayal is a concept album that tackles the 1979 cult movie The Warriors, which, in turn, is inspired by the ancient Greek tale Anabasis by Xenophon. For those of you who need a refresher on those stories, here's a short summary of the premise:

In circa 400 B.C., Prince Cyrus recruited ten thousand Greek mercenaries to overthrow his brother, the ruler of Persia. Despite a victorious battle in Babylon, Cyrus is killed. Stranded deep in the heart of Persia without reward, the ten thousand troops are forced to march through desolate desert and treacherous mountain passes to reach the safety of the Greek colonies. In The Warriors, Cyrus is an influential gang leader who gathers together one hundred different New York gangs for a meeting. Since all gang members collectively outnumber all the police, Cyrus proposes that they could unite and rule the city together. However, Cyrus is assassinated by the Rogue gang, who falsely accuse our protagonists (The Warriors gang) with the murder. Hunted by police and rival gangs, The Warriors must fight their way through the dangerous streets of Manhattan to reach the safety of their home turf on the beaches of Coney Island.

In this album, Necropanther choose to combine elements of both the original Greek tale and the movie adaptation in their lyrics. For instance, in the song "If You Can Count", Cyrus' slang rallying cry "Can you dig it?" stands in juxtaposition alongside the ancient battle plans to "overthrow the king" and "accede the throne" of Babylon. The track "Breathe Evil" also compares the gathering of different gangs to the summoning of ancient demons and elder gods. Overall, the lyrics are quite cleverly written and make an entertaining read even without the accompanying music. But this album would definitely not be the same without its talented instrumentation, so let's address that next.

Musically, the band haven't deviated greatly from their successful formula that mixes the lightning pace of thrash and the heaviness of melodic death metal. The raspy vocals combined with the technical guitar playing remind me of Melechesh and Vektor. And yet, there also exists an underlying adolescent attitude reminiscent of the punk and rising thrash metal movement of the early 80s, fitting very nicely with the theme of rebellious youths.

In comparison to their past releases, Betrayal also offers several new developments. For the first time, a second set of vocals joins the party. Bassist Marcus Corich provides deep, guttural growls to complement the lead hisses of Paul Anop, creating a fun, dynamic interplay throughout the album. Anop, who, along with the lead vocals, normally contributes the rhythm guitar riffs, supplies here for the first time some of his own guitar solos (a task previously shouldered by guitarist Joe Johnson). This time, both Johnson and Anop deliver melodic, flashy guitar solos, such as on the songs "Furies" and "Don't Stop For Death". Lastly, the incessant fast pace provided by drummer Haakon Sjorgren on songs like "Revenants" and "Wanderers" ensures that there's never a boring moment to be found.

But it's not just speed and aggression that Necropanther are capable of. Betrayal's musical progression reflects the changes in mood of the thematic story very aptly. Starting with the catchy hook of the first song ("Warriors on the street / Children of the beach!"), the album continues to evolve: with groovy guitar-work contrasting the flourishing solo on "Into Danger"; heavy, foreboding riffs that herald the impending final battle on "Out To The Sand"; and sombre melodies to highlight the contemplative, profound lyrics of the concluding title track:

"Is this the reward that we
Fought and suffered for?
Is this craven wasteland
All we can call home?

The choice is oblivion
Or a life of despair.
Is this all our brothers
Sacrificed and died for?
"

With their ever-morphing musical direction and addictive energy to match their cunning storytelling skills, one thing's for sure: whether you're a fan of the 1979 cult classic or not, you're guaranteed to have a fun time with these musical warriors.






Written on 03.03.2023 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 73 users
03.03.2023 - 18:56
Rating: 7
F3ynman
Nocturnal Bro
Contributor
Quote:
- The optimal length for a review is 250-500 words. Please don't go below or over this length unless absolutely necessary.

Yeah. About that...
I guess I went a little overboard with my 761 words. But, in my defense, a 11-track concept album that neatly mixes lyrical themes of both a late 70s cult classic and an ancient Greek adventure deserves a longer discussion
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03.03.2023 - 23:09
A Real Mönkey
Oh damn this sounds right up my alley.
----
"Change the world. My final message. Goodbye."

~Last words of Harambe, seconds before he was shot, according to child he shielded from gunfire
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05.03.2023 - 11:13
Rating: 7
DarkWingedSoul
Found the review better that the album itself... however maybe i shall give it a spin or 2 more maybe, since the music is not so rosy/pinky as the cover , haha.
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06.03.2023 - 16:30
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
That warriors gang film is best gang film ever made.
----
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - "Speak English or Die"

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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06.03.2023 - 16:52
Rating: 7
F3ynman
Nocturnal Bro
Contributor
Written by Bad English on 06.03.2023 at 16:30

That warriors gang film is best gang film ever made.

It teaches you that bringing a knife to a gun fight can actually come in handy!
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07.03.2023 - 17:44
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Staff
Written by F3ynman on 03.03.2023 at 18:56

Quote:
- The optimal length for a review is 250-500 words. Please don't go below or over this length unless absolutely necessary.

Yeah. About that...
I guess I went a little overboard with my 761 words. But, in my defense, a 11-track concept album that neatly mixes lyrical themes of both a late 70s cult classic and an ancient Greek adventure deserves a longer discussion

musclassia is over here wondering how you were able to be so succinct
----
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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08.03.2023 - 11:54
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Contributor
Very enjoyable review, I was expecting the album to be enjoyable also, and I wasn't mistaken, it's groovy, punky and good fun
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