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3.81 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2018


01. Mark of the Necrogram (4:53)
02. Odium Caecum (4:25)
03. Tsar Bomba (5:40)
04. Lamashtu (5:20)
05. Sacrosanct (4:38)
06. Pesta (5:59)
07. Requiem for a Dying Sun (4:39)
08. Crown of Horns (3:59)
09. From the Great Above to the Great Below (5:53)
10. Undergången (2:48)

Total Time 48:14


- Joakim Sterner / Drums
- Anders Strokirk / Vocals
- Sebastian Ramstedt / Guitars
- Johan Bergebäck / Guitars
- Alex Friberg / Bass

About this release

Label: Century Media Records
Release date: February 23rd, 2018
Catalog ID: 57796
CD, LP, Download

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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Mark Of The Necrogram" is the 8th full-length studio album by Swedish melodic black metal/blackened death metal act Necrophobic. The album was released through Century Media Records in February 2018. It´s the successor to "Womb of Lilithu" from 2013, and as the case also was between the release of "Death to All (2009)" and "Womb of Lilithu (2013)", there have been quite a few lineup changes between the release of "Womb of Lilithu (2013)" and "Mark Of The Necrogram". Guitarists Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergebäck, who left before the recording sessions for "Womb of Lilithu (2013)", have now returned and have replaced Fredrik Folkare and Tobias Sidegård. Sidegård also performed lead vocals on "Womb of Lilithu (2013)", and his lead vocalist spot is taken by Anders Strokirk on "Mark Of The Necrogram". The only two remaining members from the last album are drummer Joakim Sterner and bassist Alex Friberg.

Despite the many lineup shuffles in the band´s history, they have remained surprisingly consistent in sound and in the quality of their output. This is a band with a signature sound and they stick to it. Sure they´ve evolved slightly over the years, and their albums don´t sound exactly the same (although there are many similar features on all releases), but there is a strong musical vision which Necrophobic have remained true to throughout their career. Occult/anti-Christian themed melodic death/black metal. Contemporary artists like Dissection and Unanimated are valid references. So it´s especially the vocals which are a blackened snarl, while the instrumental part of the music is closer to melodic death metal (of the darker and most raw kind).

"Mark Of The Necrogram" pretty much continues down the same path Necrophobic have travelled for many years, and there aren´t any surprises to be found on the album. The material is well written melodic blackened death metal and you can pick any track from the album and call it a quality track in the style. Like most Necrophobic albums, "Mark Of The Necrogram" become a bit of a one-dimensional listen only a couple of tracks into the album though, which isn´t a major issue, but it´s still an issue that the band aren´t able to vary their songwriting and sound more than they do. The whole album more or less passes by without any particular standout moments to hold on to and mention afterwards. So consistency can both be a strength and a weakness, and if you crave album variation it´s definitely a weakness in this case.

"Mark Of The Necrogram" features a professional and well sounding production, which suits the material perfectly, and the musicianship is also on a high level on all posts, so upon conclusion it´s another quality melodic blackended death metal release by Necrophobic. The above mentioned lack of variation brings my rating down a little, but it´s still a strong release in the genre and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
Necrophobic have been releasing quality extreme metal albums since their 1993 debut The Nocturnal Silence, a highly regarded by many, old school death metal release. They shortly afterwards adopted a more blackened death metal sound which is pretty much where they have remained since. All of their albums have been at least good, if not essential listening, though I must admit to my recollection with some mid period releases vague.

It’s been five years since Womb Of Lilithu and Mark Of The Necrogram sees the band remaining faithful to their blackened death metal sound which means no surprises I guess but it’s still a quality release. The sound is nearer to 2009’s Death To All than WOL which is not surprising when you know that it marks the return of guitarists Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergebäck who last played on that record. It also sees the return of original vocalist Anders Strokirk.

The first thing that hit me with the opening title track, apart from the crystal clear production, is they appear to have upped the melody quotient and as the album progresses it proves to be the case. There’s no shortage of catchy riffs, which I must admit to a large extent didn’t hit me straight away but once they did I was hooked. It doesn’t get any better than Odium Caecum which after a moody guitar arpeggio intro kicks in full throttle, more death than black until the chorus and is one of the heaviest songs too. There’s no shortage of great songs though played with strong musicianship. Ever present drummer Joakim Sterner throws in the expected array of blast beats and double kicks with expert precision and the guitar work is impressive with some melodic solo work too.

I’ll stick my neck out here and say that Mark Of The Necrogram may just be the bands best and most consistent album in their career. It’s also their best sounding too. I’ve never felt the need to own all Necrophobic’s albums, having cherry picked their back catalogue but this ones a keeper for sure.

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