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Necrophagist Epitaph

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1. Stabwound 2. The Stillborn One 3. Ignominious & Pale 4. Diminished To Be 5. Epitaph 6. Only Ash Remains 7. Seven MP3 8. Symbiotic In Theory
2004 Relapse Records
Our score 9

by Cory
8/8/2004

So perhaps I'm terribly ignorant, but until about a month ago when I first heard "Epitaph," I had no idea who Necrophagist were. The name sounded vaguely familiar, like the sort of run-of-the-mill grind band that I typically don't care about, but I had never experienced their music. It came to me highly recommended and I must admit, I was skeptical. While it took a few listens to adjust to the vocals, Necrophagist is immediately gripping musically in a way that most extreme grind/death metal bands are not. The trick to Necrophagist's success in my mind is the guitar work. I would have to estimate that 90% of the guitar playing on this record is either really catchy riffs or searing solos. The contrast it provides to many death metal outfits, obsessed with a chugging low-end guitar sound, is startling. By carrying the tempo with blast-beats and a great rich sound from the bass, the guitars are free to wander every which way, creating a trademark sound of musical complexity based on a relatively simple formula. As far as standout tracks go, the bass runs throughout "Only Ash Remains" makes it immediately stand out in my mind, but each of the disc's eight cuts has more memorable musical moments than you can shake a stick at. The vocals, in my mind, leave a bit to be desired. For all their exploration of their instruments' possibilities throughout this disc, their singing is simply a typically lackluster deep throaty rasp. I'm just not interested in this sort of singing. If you like it, you'll probably love this. If you don't, the music is still good enough to win you over. Bottom Line: Relapse Records has always had a knack at finding bands that can fit clearly into a genre, yet defy the definition and boundaries of that genre. Necrophagist is clearly a technically proficient death metal band, but their ear for a catchy riff quickly propels them to a point of greatness reserved for some of the most established names associated with the style. Metalheads take note: Necrophagist is about to be your new favorite band and "Epitaph" is the reason why.

Comments (26) post new comment
chickee_ 8/8/2004 10:07:17 AM

first replu. this crap sucks


metallishadows_ 8/8/2004 1:27:21 PM

This album is amazing.


retch_ 8/8/2004 1:36:18 PM

great cd.


banky_ 8/8/2004 3:34:37 PM

Vocals = SHIT Music = GREAT Get a switch-up on vocals with somebody that actually knows how to front a metal outfit and this could easily be a staple in my CD player.


goodband_ 8/8/2004 4:27:24 PM

good band, good review. if you dont like it, get back to the mall, pussies.


titojaxon_ 8/8/2004 7:24:38 PM

this shit is ingenious


matt_ 8/8/2004 10:15:58 PM

this band rules.


thegoldenvile_ 8/9/2004 3:22:09 AM

vocals arent bad at all...gutteralls are not easy and it fits this perfectly.. obviously you dont do vocals yourself dumbshit. this band is amazing.. enough said


Ash_ 8/9/2004 12:44:16 PM

The vocals are the only boring and repetitive on this: The only thing keeping this from getting a 10/10. If you advocate vocals like this for anything, I don't want you in my band.


jim_ 8/9/2004 3:39:54 PM

if you like DEATH METAL then you won't mind the vocals at all. this is one of the greatest technical death metal albums ever.


Ash_ 8/9/2004 3:49:53 PM

Agreed. This music is amazing.


dave_ 8/11/2004 11:57:45 AM

i'm with jim here...i mean, it's a death metal album. the cookie monster vocals come with the territory. i think that if they tried to experiment with the vocals it could ruin the whole thing.


jim_ 8/11/2004 2:39:50 PM

also, he does low guttural death vocals that are pronounced pretty clearly..this is one of the toughest vocal styles to do well, unlike high pitched shrieking, etc


say10_ 8/11/2004 9:02:31 PM

i agree with the score but there is little to no mention of the complexity and seamlessness of the songwriting and the cleanness of the drumming or recording. this album deserves a more in depth review as it is a masterpiece


wiggleberry_ 8/13/2004 1:29:42 AM

Technical death metal is awful. This album is the best awful album to be released in awhile, which isn't cool.


Jim_ 8/17/2004 6:36:14 PM

These pussies can't handle the gutteral. Brilliant cd.


Sean_ 10/8/2005 4:00:05 PM

an amazing record from an amazing band. if you like this also check out Beneath the Massacre, Sleep Terror, Hate Eternal, and Behold...The Arctopus! among others...


Casey_ 11/28/2005 3:16:37 AM

Tech Death is awful?? you must like boring shit like CC and Deicide.


One_ 5/1/2006 6:56:49 AM

When you listen to this album, you'll hear some typical death metal vocals but that's not what you're supposed to be listening to; this is a technical guitar band. An idiot should be able to tell you that the main guitarist is writing the material from start to finish. After considering these things you can't hide from the fact that this album features superior musicianship; it's executed FLAWLESSLY.


One_ 5/1/2006 7:00:05 AM

Oh yeah, I forgot to say that this review is absolute shit and Cory is a f*cking caveman.


djdjdj_ 11/22/2006 8:21:49 AM

this album slays, shreds and blasts it's way into death/grind metal legend. shame it's german.


xthardingx_ 12/11/2006 11:37:20 PM

BEAUTIFUL RECORD! NOT A DAMN THING WRONG WITH IT! ...and decent review as well.


kyle_ 3/4/2007 1:44:00 PM

this cd is super good. how can u say that tech death metal sucks. it takes more talent to play this stuff than almost any other type of music.


SEAMAN_ 7/12/2008 11:41:30 AM

everyone is talking about how they don't like the vocals... well what you all probably don't know is that muhammed, their lead guitarist, is their vocalist as well. during those incredible riffs, he's playing guitar and doing vocals. i defy anyone who says they can do that as well as him.


anonymous 11/1/2008 2:13:15 PM

this album has its moments, but definitly bored me after a while. they are definitly extremely talented musicians that can out-shred alot of bands out there, but i just don't hear alot of good songwriting here. if you want a tech death band that balances the two, check out spawn of possession.


TRUE METAL_ 7/26/2009 10:53:07 AM

COME TO INDONESIA