NECROPHOBIC — Dawn of the Damned (review)

NECROPHOBIC — Dawn of the Damned album cover Album · 2020 · Melodic Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Nightfly
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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Nightfly wrote:
52 days ago
Look forward to reading it Jonas.
UMUR wrote:
53 days ago
I can´t say the last couple of albums have done much for me, although they are of course quality releases, but this one is better IMO. I have a review written that I´ll post soon.

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