What’s up, Butcher Crew?! It’s your Master Butcher, The Saw. And I’ve come, today, with a Heavy Breakdown. Necrophobic has released a new album (of sorts); really, it’s a re-release of 1997’s, Darkside. Many categorize Necrophobic as Blackened Death Metal, but The Saw, always thinking categorically, places the band squarely in the (Melodic) Black Metal camp.
Necrophobic was formed in 1989 by drummer Joakim Sterner and guitarist David Parland (R.I.P.). It’s believed that Necrophobic took their name from the Slayer song on ‘86’s Reign in Blood. With a revolving door of members, the band recorded their debut 7-inch single, “The Call,” in 1992.
Darkside is a solid record, with excellent melodic Black Metal riffs (fast tremelo picking); but also, several songs feature a more Death Metal structure (power chords), with beefy riffs and leads. Each full-length song is driven by Sterner’s forceful but tasteful blast-beats and double bass. There is also a three-part instrumental interspersed throughout the album.
The album opener, “Black Moon Rising,” and the following, “Spawned by Evil,” are fine examples of classic Black Metal tempo and composure. “Bloodthirst” is one of my favorites, with a very melodic riff and vocal cadence; Black Metal vocal style with a more Death Metal arrangement. “Venaesectio,” Episode One of the instrumentals follows. The title track is next, and is also one of my favorites. Like “Bloodthirst,” the groove is at a slower time stamp, with a tempo change and speed-up in the chorus. And it features an excellent solo before returning to the slower groove. “The Call,” their initial debut single, is here, too. It is a perfect specimen of Black Metal – blast-beats, fast tempo, tempo changes, and Satanic lyrics. “Descension” is Episode Two of the instrumentals. “Nailing the Holy One” is my favorite on the record. It features a guest appearance by Jon Nodtveidt (Dissection) and contains a wicked Death Metal riff. It really is a different kind of song, almost out of place on this record. “Nifelhel,” Episode Three, is the final part of the instrumentals. And “Christian Slaughter” is the last track on the album. It is another of my favorites. Blasting a burst of speed to start, it settles into a groovy, mid-tempo riff before returning to full speed again. This structure continues throughout the song. The anti-Christian content is obvious from the title.
Rating: 8/10! A solid record, featuring Black Metal vocals and melodic harmonies and Death Metal riffs.
Favorite Songs: Bloodthirst, Darkside, Nailing the Holy One, Christian Slaughter
The band’s studio album output has been consistent:
- The Nocturnal Silence (1993)
- Darkside (1997)
- The Third Antichrist (1999) – Black Mark Productions
- Bloodhymns (2002) – Hammerheart Records
- Hrimthursum (2006) – Regain Records/Candlelight USA
- Death to All (2009) – Regain Records/Candlelight USA
- Womb of Lilithu (2013) – Season of Mist
- Mark of the Necrogram (2018) – Century Media
- Dawn of the Damned (2020) – Century Media
- Darkside Re-release (2022) – Black Mark/Necrophobic
A few notes concerning Necrophobic’s studio albums: Death to All won “Album of the Month” from Metallian.com magazine in 2009. And, since it’s release, The Saw really likes and has played on-air many songs from Dawn of the Damned. The Saw enjoys Darkside and Death to All, but I think Dawn of the Damned is Necrophobic’s best work to date. The composition, structure, and sound are amazing.
Joakim Sterner – drums (1989 – present)
Anders Strokirk – vocals (1992-1994, 2014 – present)
Sabastian Ramstedt – guitars (1996-2011, 2016 – present)
Johan Bergeback – guitars (2001-2011, 2016 – present)
Allen Lundholm – bass (2019 – present)