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Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram

necrophobic – mark of the necrogram

One of the few bands I have a huge soft spot for and of which I think they have created only decent or even marvelous albums, is Sweden’s Necrophobic. ‘Till this very day I’m spinning their discography frequently. Granted, the predecessor “Womb of Lilithu” wasn’t the best one of the 8 full-length albums (this one included) the band have released so far, as some tracks are lacking the right Necrophobic trademark (the combination of dark melodies, epic songwriting and strong rhythm riffs along with the pounding drums) although a track like “The Necromancer” is a more than good one. But still, in the end…maybe it was a bit uninspired and tedious as it clocks around 1 hour and 10 minutes while normally a Necrophobic album is ready after approx. 45 minutes (except for “Hrimthursum” which is 59 minutes long). Maybe the departure of guitarists Johan Bergebäck and Sebastian Ramstedt didn’t do any good to the songwriting as well…But in the mean time they are back and Anders Strokirk, vocalist of the mighty debut album “The Nocturnal Silence”, replaced long time member Tobias Sidegård due all kind of non-musical reasons. After a couple years of silence, besides the news about the line-up changes and the fact they have changed labels (from Season of Mist to Century Media), the “Pesta” 7” EP saw daylight and let the masses hear they don’t have question they quality the band is giving them. Besides a re-recorded version of “Slow Asphyxiation”, the new title track was definitely something to get anxious about the forthcoming full-length. Ans here it is, “Mark of the Necrogram” and it is absolutely 100% Necrophobic! The opening title-track just blasts away every bit of doubt in your fibers and I hear everything at once what makes this band great for me. Fast rhythm riffs but still room for dark melodies and leads which are all accompanied by hard-hitting drums to create songs which are sounding as a whole from start to finish. Another highlight is the epic “Tsar Bomba” which was the nickname of a Soviet RDS-220 hydrogen bomb, detonated in 1961 at the island of Novaya Zemlya. It resulted in a mushroom cloud as high as 56 km / 35 miles and it seems the shockwave even brake windows in Norway and Finland. Quite a powerful device, isn’t it? And quite an inspiration for a Blackened Death Metal to create a great catchy epic track about it, which is a bit more melodic than the common Necrophobic track. There is only a slight difference with the vocals, as Strokirk’s have a little less variation than Sidegård’s, but I don’t think this will ever be a negative remark for the listener. I can’t say this will be Necrophobic’s finest, as nostalgia will always be a huge factor to pick one out of their discography, but I can say to you that “Mark of the Necrogram” is one hell of an album…a must buy even! (Ricardo)