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Necrophobic - In The Twilight Grey review


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Band: Necrophobic
Album: In The Twilight Grey
Style: Melodic black metal, Melodic death metal
Release date: March 2024

01. Grace Of The Past
02. Clavis Inferni
03. As Stars Collide
04. Stormcrow
05. Shadows Of The Brightest Night
06. Mirrors Of A Thousand Lakes
07. Cast In Stone
08. Nordanvind
09. In The Twilight Grey
10. Ascension (Episode Four)
11. Blackened The Horizon [limited deluxe edition bonus]
12. The Torture Never Stops [W.A.S.P. cover][limited deluxe edition bonus]

Ten studio albums, and Necrophobic keep churning out high-quality, melodic, black/death metal like there’s no tomorrow. A reliably great band still at the top of their game. “Can you hear the songs sung from the deep?”

Alongside Dissection, Swedish masters Necrophobic pioneered the now-iconic mix of extreme metal that combines the ferocious heaviness of death metal and the icy cold melody of black metal. (What is the counterpart of blackened death metal? “Deadly black metal”?). Releasing their legendary debut The Nocturnal Silence in 1993, Necrophobic unleashed the most evil metal of that time, spearheading the rise of riff-centered, Satanic-themed, melodic black metal. Yet, after the departure of vocalist Anders Strokirk and guitarist David Parland, the band lost some of its death metal bite. That’s not to say that they didn’t stop producing consistently good albums (along with some exceptionally great albums such as Darkside and Hrimthursum), but they never again could reach the same heights as on their magical debut work.

The year 2018 marked a resurgence in the band's activity and a return to form with the return of vocalist Anders Strokirk as well as guitarists Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergebäck, who had previously left the band in 2011. Additionally, the signing with Century Media Records also caused an expansion of the band's outreach, producing a rapid increase in audience recognition and popularity. Their 2018 and 2020 albums, Mark Of The Necrogram and Dawn Of The Damned were a great success, showcasing the catchy songwriting ability and strong performance of the reunited band. Now, how does their newest 2024 release, In The Twilight Grey, fare?

First of all, the line-up combination of Strokirk, Ramstedt, Bergebäck, as well as drummer Joakim Sterner (a founding member who has been committed to the band since 1989) has stayed consistent for these last three releases. The only new addition is the ex-Dismember and current Darkened bass player Tobias Cristiansson. Similar to the relative consistency in personnel, Necrophobic’s musical style hasn’t changed all too much either. With blasphemous lyricism, malicious guitar riffs, and haunting melodies, the band deliver their music in a very familiar fashion. Ever since their debut, they've played a style of black metal that's fast-paced, evil, and super enjoyable, and In The Twilight Grey is no exception, as evidenced right from the start by the fiery opener, “Grace Of The Past”.

It's hard to top the addictive “Tsar Bomba” of Mark Of The Necrogram, but, with the likes of “Clavis Inferni” and “Stormcrow”, Necrophobic demonstrate here once more a great batch of catchy hymns to bang your head to. The strongest songs on the album are “Mirrors Of A Thousand Lakes”, “In The Twilight Grey”, and “Blackened The Horizon”. The former two display epic atmosphere and excellently chilling growls of the vocalist, who, on the title track, speaks about being called to the gates of Hell. The latter track, “Blackened The Horizon”, is a bonus track from the limited deluxe edition that features such a nice contrast between cool, groovy rhythm and really melodious lead guitar-work that it actually might be my personal favorite track of the album (Satan knows why they didn't put it on the standard version’s tracklist).

Of course, all songs here are very entertaining, and I believe that this album easily beats Dawn Of The Damned and ties Mark Of The Necrogram as their best work of recent years. In The Twilight Grey’s only real drawback is its lack of originality. Sure, it might be asking too much for them to revolutionize melodic black metal so late in their career, but it's clear that In The Twilight Grey is simply a continuation of the sound established on Mark Of The Necrogram. But, while there's nothing really on this album in terms of musical style that we haven't heard before, the songs here are undeniably some of the most enjoyable meloblack you can ask for. Necrophobic sound as great as ever, excelling in catchy songwriting and passionate performance.

Funnily enough, there exist certain parallels to Judas Priest, who released their 2024 album Invincible Shield only a week prior. Both are legendary bands who played an essential part in establishing their respective metal subgenres. Both released albums in 2018 that surprised the world, showing on Mark Of The Necrogram and Firepower the might and vigor reminiscent of their early days. And, finally, both Necrophobic and Judas Priest demonstrate with their 2024 releases a seamless continuation of that revitalized energy, proving that some old bands still have the capability to remain at a world-class level. It’s almost as if those two bands have really taken the lyrics of Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years” to heart, realizing that they still have the vitality and willpower to make these their golden years.

In conclusion, In The Twilight Grey acts as a superbly entertaining, complementary piece to complete the trio of high-quality meloblack that Necrophobic have put out since 2018. They’re done revolutionizing the genre, but that isn’t stopping them from playing wickedly fun metal. In the end, they’ve made yet again a worthy installment in their consistently great discography, proving that, no matter when they play, whether it's before the dawn or in the twilight grey, Necrophobic never disappoint.

Written on 24.03.2024 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments: 6   Visited by: 104 users
24.03.2024 - 11:40
I am surprised by the high scores this album is receiving. Don’t get me wrong , it’s a solid album with solid performances but it lacks some memorable moments . I should give it another spin
25.03.2024 - 09:15
"What is the counterpart of blackened death metal? “Deadly black metal”?)" - I would say deathly or deathened black xD
29.03.2024 - 12:25
Rating: 9
How does one get the Limited Edition version of this with the 2 extra songs?
Bandcamp doesn't seem to have it
29.03.2024 - 15:46
Rating: 9
Nocturnal Bro
Written by sgtrobo on 29.03.2024 at 12:25

How does one get the Limited Edition version of this with the 2 extra songs?
Bandcamp doesn't seem to have it

I could only find it from some unofficial uploads on Youtube: here and here
31.03.2024 - 21:54
Rating: 9
Thanks man, I wanna buy the dern thing doggone it!
09.04.2024 - 18:38
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Band what delivers great quallity albums whit big blast. Like this band a lot.
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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