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4.31 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2020


1. Aphelion (2:25) (instrumental)
2. Darkness Be My Guide (4:46)
3. Mirror Black (5:23)
4. Tartarian Winds (4:24)
5. The Infernal Depths of Eternity (7:33)
6. Dawn of the Damned (3:39)
7. The Shadows (4:55)
8. As the Fire Burns (4:01)
9. The Return of a Long Lost Soul (7:09)
10. Devil's Spawn Attack (3:42)

Total Time 47:57


- Joakim Sterner / Drums
- Anders Strokirk / Vocals
- Sebastian Ramstedt / Guitars
- Johan Bergebäck / Guitars
- Allan Lundholm / Bass

- Schmier / Vocals (additional) (track 10)

About this release

Century Media Records, October 9th, 2020

Music videos:
- Mirror Black
- The Infernal Depths of Eternity
- Devil's Spawn Attack

Recorded and mixed at Chrome Studios, Stockholm, Sweden.

Thanks to UMUR for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Dawn of the Damned" is the 9th full-length studio album by Swedish melodic black metal/blackened death metal act Necrophobic. The album was released through Century Media Records in October 2020. It´s the successor to "Mark Of The Necrogram" from 2018 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as bassist Alex Friberg has been replaced by Allan Lundholm.

Stylistically "Dawn of the Damned" is unmistakably the sound of Necrophobic and a natural continuation of the preceding releases by the band. The listener is treated to melodic blackened death metal, which sometimes is more black than death, and sometimes visa versa. Lead vocalist Anders Strokirk has a raw blackened snarling type delivery, which is intelligible and powerful. The instrumental part of the music is of high class. The rhythm section is solid and energetic, and the two guitarists deliver sharp melodic tremolo riffs, blistering melodic solos, and when the songs call for it, heavy mid-paced death metal riffing too. Some of the riffs are highly impressive and quite intricate. Listen to the main riff of the title track and tell me if that´s not brilliance incarnate...

...other highlights include "Darkness Be My Guide" and the two closing tracks "The Return of a Long Lost Soul" and "Devil's Spawn Attack". The latter is a speed metal influenced melodic death metal track with Destruction vocalist Schmier guesting on additional vocals.

"Dawn of the Damned" features a raw and powerful sound production, which suits the material well. There is generally a good balance between rawness and detail, which is important for this type of music, with two guitarists delivering harmonies, solos, and intricate riffs. Necrophobic have never released a bad quality album, but not all their releases are equally memorable. "Dawn of the Damned" is definitely in the better end of their discography and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Now nine studio albums into their career, which started with the highly regarded The Nocturnal Silence in 1993, Necrophobic have been releasing quality blackened death metal with only the occasional slip. The swingometer between black and death metal varies slightly and these days they seem to have settled on a blackened melodic death metal style which I felt reached a zenith on 2018’s Mark of The Necrogram. Two years later we now have Dawn Of The Damned and it’s almost the same line-up as last time with only a change in bass players, Allan Lundholm replacing Alex Friberg. That’s some going in Necrophobic world as they’ve had quite a few changes of personnel over the years. This stability may explain why Dawn Of The Damned is similar in feel and execution to its predecessor, not only musically but the largely red cover even having a similar look. On Dawn Of The Damned though they may have just exceeded the excellence of Mark Of The Necrogram slightly and produced the finest album of their career.

The short opening instrumental Aphelion sets the mood up nicely before things kick off proper with Darkness Be My Guide and we’re immediately into familiar territory of flailing blast beats and tremolo picked guitar riffs. It’s catchy as hell and a strong way to get things going. Without going into each song the quality continues throughout. There may not be a lot of variation – most of the songs power along at a similar high speed but the energy, melody and strength of the riffs win over and stop lethargy settling in. Two of the songs break the seven minute barrier, The Infernal Depths Of Eternity and The Return Of A Long Lost Soul. Both are highpoints, particularly the latter of the two which actually slows things down, to begin with at least, but ends with all guns blazing on a compelling instrumental outro with excellent guitar solos. Of course the standard of musicianship is high as expected and vocalist Anders Strokirk’s blackened rasp is on top form. This all helped by a sympathetic and powerful production.

There will always be those I’m sure that cite their debut or perhaps The Third Antichrist as the bands high point, both excellent albums for sure, but for me it’s their later years where Necrophobic have really hit their stride. Dawn Of The Damned is essential listening for anyone who’s ever liked this excellent band and sure to be in my top ten at the end of the year.

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