Necrophagia, an American group formed in 1983, are often hailed as one of the first death metal bands. After releasing a handful of demos in the first half of the eighties, the quartet released their seminal debut album, Season of the Dead, in February of 1987 - a few months before Death's legendary Scream Bloody Gore. A "cult classic" is probably a good way to describe this unfortunately overlooked album, despite the amount of praise it receives in the underground extreme metal community. Once their 10-year hiatus came to an end in 1998, Necrophagia began regularly pumping-out albums to satisfy their dedicated following, and Deathtrip 69, the band's sixth full-length studio album, was released in May, 2011 by Season of Mist. Although the band's rather primitive death metal style isn't nearly as revolutionary as it was nearly thirty years ago, Deathtrip 69 is still an extremely fun and highly recommendable listen. Fans of the band, as well as old school death metal in general, should find plenty of enjoyment from this high-quality effort.
The music on Deathtrip 69 is very primitive old school death metal, often sounding much more like an extreme thrash release. This lacks many characteristics of a modern death metal release (most noticeably blast beats), but the crushing riffs and brutal vocals make it harsher than your average thrash release. Deathtrip 69 isn't a complete run-of-the-mill old school release, however. Eclecticism is embraced here, and the occasional use of acoustic guitar and keyboards help add some nice variation into the mix. The odd trailer-trash blues song "Death Valley 69", although not exactly my cup of tea, is also fairly unique. Deathtrip 69 isn't the most musically complex release out there, but there are a few difficult riffs and drum patterns that prove Necrophagia's worth as musicians. The production is a bit thin, but still certainly competent.
Deathtrip 69 is a high-quality release from Necrophagia that should satisfy the band's cult fanbase and beyond. I've had a really fun time experiencing this album over the last week, and although it may not be a revolutionary masterpiece, Deathtrip 69 is a damn good effort that comes highly recommended from me. If blood, guts, and zombies are topics of interest for you, it's certainly worth checking out! 3.5 stars are well-deserved for this highly-impressive, blood-soaked death trip.
1. Naturan Demonto
2. Beast with Feral Claws
3. Tomb with a View
4. Suffering Comes in Sixes
5. A Funeral for Solange
7. Bleeding Eyes of the Eternally Damned
8. Trick R' Treat (The Last Halloween)
9. Deathtrip 69
10. Death Valley 69