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Review: Necrophagist - Epitaph

Label: Willowtip Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 32:57
Tracks: 8
Genre: Death Metal


Review online: May 6, 2009
Reviewed by: Caspian
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.1/5 (81.94%) (31 Votes)

Over recent times, it seems that a few metal bands are trying to appeal to soccer mums (that's moms for you Americans with your crazy spellings). Bands like Agalloch will sate many a parents who likes their Enya and Coldplay, much of today's symphonic Power Metal sounds almost exactly the same as ABBA or one of those other old disco bands, and then you have Necrophagist. I'm not exactly sure what kind of soccer mums these guys were going for, at a guess I'll say those who like listening to those new age albums full of dolphin sounds and waterfall field recordings, and maybe Cindi Lauper fans.

Incredibly hilarious jokes aside, though, this is probably one of the tamest Death Metal records I've ever heard. More good descriptions would be Sonata Arctica with downtuned guitars, or possibly Nightwish with Chris Barnes fronting.

Basically, Necrophagist traffic in a bland, inoffensive brand of technical Death Metal that proves that while these guys can play their instruments well, they can't write a good song or heavy riff to save themselves. It's hard to pick up any song and say "this is a good example of what I'm talking about" as they all sound the same, but I guess one that springs to mind is the opening of "The Stillborn One" which boasts the most tepid, horrible attempt at a slow, 'crushing' riff that you've ever heard, before the song breaks out into some faster but still completely unmemorable guitar wank. This gets repeated pretty much every song, with some slow, completely listless parts mixed in with some faster parts that are more technical but have even less energy. The title track would be a good example of a fast song with basically no energy at all. I feel sleepy and lethargic just listening to this- I don't know how Necrophagist stayed awake long enough to record this.

And that's pretty much it about this record. I guess another term that would work well is 'flaccid'- certainly there's not exactly a lot of testosterone in this record. There's not really any aggression, just lots of fast, pointless fretboard work, with the overall atmosphere of... I dunno, a Boy Scout hall. A dentist's convention. At least other modern bands like Nile and Hate Eternal bury their pointless blast-fests (not to say that those guys don't actually write some good songs here and there, because they do) under some hefty production with some heavily distorted guitars - whereas Necrophagist keep everything painfully clean and sterile so that they don't disappoint any of their soccer mum fans.

Overall, I would advise everyone to avoid this. Perhaps this would be a good album if you wanted to get your grandmother into Death Metal, or if you wanted to hear some Death Metal and the only other thing you'd ever listened to was Evanescense. Otherwise there's no excuse, though. Avoid this riffless, dickless wonder like the plague.

More about Necrophagist...
Review: Epitaph (reviewed by Sirliftsalot48)
Review: Onset of Putrefaction (reviewed by Sirliftsalot48)
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