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Necrophagist: Epitaph

Not sure how this technical, monstrous slab of brutality escaped our radar last year, but that's neither here nor there. The main thing is, if you haven't yet heard Epitaph from German powerhouse Necrophagist, you are really missing out on some serious stuff. These guys are so adept at laying down blazing, complex arrangements, that your head will literally spin. Combining influences such as Atheist, Death, Morbid Angel, Spiral Architect, Megadeth, Dream Theater, Cynic, and Watchtower, the album is a non-stop assault of intricate jazz/metal riffs, (which weave circles around the mix) blazing arpeggiated guitar solos, gymnastic bass lines, stunningly complex blast beats, and powerful death growls. Those who love technical playing in metal but have a hard time with death metal growls should really give this a try though (sort of like early Death or Morbid Angel meets Opeth), as the musical performance of this band is stunning. Listen to the jaw dropping leads that run rampant throughout "The Stillborn One", or the manic time changes mixed with pummeling brutality on "Stabwound". Drummer Hannes Grossmann plays like a man possessed on the insanely complex "Ignominious & Pale", a song that features more blazing drum & guitar work that you'll hear in whole albums by lesser bands. Again, I have to stress the guitar work of both Christian Muenzner and Muhammed Suicmez, as their mix of Malmsteen, Vai, and Mustaine styled leads are simply breathtaking. Suicmez delivers the vocals on the album, and he has a very deep death growl which actually fits well with the music. His brutal vocals add the "death" element to the otherwise crazy jazz-metal chops of 'Dimished to B", an insane workout, complete with dizzying guitar passages, blistering bass runs from Stefan Fimmers, and gymnastic drum patterns. The crunch factor, mixed with blinding harmony solos and killer pinch harmonics is just amazing on the monster track "Only Ash Remains", a real stunner of epic proportions. Call it guitar heaven for short!

I could go on and on here, but your best bet is to hear this for yourself. You won't find a more mind-boggling mix of 80's styled thrash, technical death metal, and progressive metal anywhere. Relapse Records has a real find here, and I'm expecting even bigger things from this band in the very near future. Whew!

Track Listing
1. Stabwound
2. The Stillborn One
3. Ignominious & Pale
4. Diminished to b
5. Epitaph
6. Only Ash Remains
7. Seven
8. Symbiotic in Theory

Added: September 19th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3271
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Necrophagist: Epitaph
Posted by Hugh Dark on 2007-02-27 14:18:59
My Score:

This is a very technical recording, but it is also very repetitive. The same riff is repeated in every song and the whole affair gets boring. I actually thoufght the debut recording was better. The songs were more interesting and in your face. The guitar player is as smooth as glass and a cut above many others in this genre. However, in this case it is not enough over time. I find myself skipping most of the songs for the solos and then I leave it alone. If he gets a handle on the songs, he will reach greatness. Hmmm...Had this guy done all the leads on the Melechesh cd.....

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