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Necrophobic – In The Twilight Grey

necrophobic – in the twilight grey


After the release of the ‘Death To All’-album in 2009 the future for Necrophobic never seemed brighter: a killer new record, a flawless back catalogue and a stable line-up. Yet, in the years that would follow dark clouds began to appear on the horizon. The band’s first steps in a period that, in hindsight, can be called their “low”, was the departure of the revered and talented guitar tandem of Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergebäck. The following album, ‘Womb Of Lilithu’ from 2013, severely suffered from the absence of the great guitar leads of Ramstedt and the memorable riffs of Bergebäck, as a result the album is widely regarded as the band’s least feat. The story continues, as in 2013 the band was also forced to fire their long-term vocalist Tobias Sidegård due to convictions for domestic violence against his wife and children.

Big surprise, then, that five years later they returned not only with veteran Anders Strokirk on vocals (who had been part of the band back in the early days) and the famous guitar duo, but also with a stunner of a new album: ‘Mark Of The Necrogram’ (2018). The fun only got bigger with the follow-up ‘Dawn Of The Damned’ in 2020, which was not only even better than its predecessor, but more importantly brought a more mature sound to the table.

And now, in the early months of 2024, we are celebrating another triumph with ‘In The Twilight Grey’, the band’s tenth full-length album. While the band underwent a lot of stylistic changes over their 35 years of existence, with the emphasis in recent years shifting more and more to the Black Metal part and the Death Metal fading somewhat into the background, I think we can start off with a conclusion of sorts. That shapeshifting had already begun in the late 90’s but got arguably more apparent in the 00’s and with the records released in the 10’s a total musical metamorphosis had been completed, with ‘In The Twilight Grey’ being the final lid to that ongoing process.

While as a whole, ‘In The Twilight Grey’ might not be as good as the preceding ‘Dawn Of The Damned’, it is clear that the band has finally found a niche in which it feels musically comfortable. Ramstedt’s leads are ever as catchy and the swirling riffs playfully duel with the pacey rhythyms, in short: the formula has been perfected into a high form of art in which both musical finesse and a true display of power go hand in hand. There are a few tracks that, especially when heard a couple of times, unfold as true earworms. It might work just a tad less monumental as on the previous record, but Necrophobic shows that there are hardly any bands in their game that are equally as skilful, energetic and efficient.

The only thing that can be said about ‘In The Twilight Grey’ is that a playing time of almost a full hour is a bit long, which is something they also went amiss on several records in the past, including on the discussed ‘Womb Of Lilithu’. But this time around all tracks are more or less of equal quality and therefore the album at least doesn’t really feel like an overly long ride. To recapture the conclusion, ‘In The Twilight Grey’ doesn’t only feel like they have completed their musical overhaul, above all, with releasing this album, they have crowned themselves kings of the Melodic Black/Death food chain.

Century Media

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