Mark of the Necrogram
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The return of old favorite groups that marked an era is always delightful. Even more so, when it comes to the great Swedish Necrophobic, a unique ‘90s black metal band, best known for the their tremendous 1993 album ‘Nocturnal Silence’. In the case of their newest ‘Mark of the Necrogram’ album, we do not have a nostalgic recall, but face one of the releases that if there is real justice in the musical universe will seriously concern the audience and damage the neck of the metal community in 2018.

For those who are not familiar, Necrophobic, along with the mighty Dissection, are the top representatives of the blackened death metal scene. Balancing masterfully between the traditional Scandinavian death metal sound and the dry, drooling and frozen depths of black metal, Necrophobic manages to combine heaviness with blasphemous melody.

Five years after their last (and not memorable enough) ‘Womb of Lilithu’ album, successive member changes and a number of weak album releases, the ‘forgotten’ Necrophobic rather unexpectedly return with a sonic blast. Being now part of Century Media‘s roster and with the return of their original singer Anders Strokirk, and guitarists Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergebäck, they send the listener to the black / death metal Valhalla. Razor-sharp guitar harmonies, thunderous blast beats and Strokirk‘s convincing, barbaric and sinister vocals. Above all,  Necrophobic has the ability and the inspiration to write particularly dark, tar-like musical themes that we do not meet every day.

From the groovy death metal sound of ‘Tsar Bomba’ to the Bathoric mid-tempo epic ‘Requiem for a Dying Sun’, and from the ‘Mark of the Necrogram’ roller to the hellish ‘Crown of Horns’ song which will probably remind us Watain, in the 48.20 minutes of its running time the latest Necrophobic album offers (possibly with the exception of the instrumental outro ‘Undergången’) nine unparalleled songs of dark metal delight. Who said there are no old school death / black metal masterpieces nowadays? (9)

Dimitris Skalkos