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Necrophagia - Here Lies Necrophagia; 35 Years of Death Metal

Here Lies Necrophagia; 35 Years of Death Metal
by Chris Hawkins at 21 October 2019, 7:57 PM

NECROPHAGIA was a Death Metal institution.  The influence Killjoy, their vocalist, had on the underground scene was monumental.  He had a solid vision for the project becoming an important leader of musicians unafraid to push the limits of accepted heaviness.  NECROPHAGIA wasn’t just about being heavy, though.  The band was to have a chilling effect on the listener via Killjoy’s extensive appreciation of cult horror films.  That merging of music and atmosphere proved vital to the proliferation of Death Metal for if Death Metal was really anything, it was this.  Blasphemously decadent, the band promoted a horror scene that was anything but mainstream cinema such as “Cannibal Holocaust,” their album named for the visceral film that was an exhibition of unmitigated depravity.  Unfortunately, Killjoy passed away in 2018 but those wanting an elaborate sampling of the band’s work, which really should be every Metal fan, will be pleased by this latest release which is a thirty-five-year retrospective of the band.

NECROPHAGIA is one of those bands I never felt received enough credit.  The band was so instrumental in the formation of Death Metal and much of the landscape of what could be called Extreme Metal in general.  Killjoy’s vocals are genuinely unique, an American pissed-off and vehement version of Maniac and with more experience.  His signature vocals were raspy, lacerating, and sharp which brought an original element to his work with NECROPHAGIA as well as with THE RAVENOUS, VIKING CROWN, and others.  Twenty years ago, Killjoy teamed up with Fenriz, Satyr, Phil Anselmo, and Maniac to start a super group they called EIBON, ultimately ending up only recording two songs, only one of which, “Mirror Soul Jesus,” was available to the public.

The album is packed full of value as evidenced by its eighteen-song length.  Because of the length, I only want to mention some of the highlights on the album.  “Chainsaw Lust” is the first track and is from an early demo of the band’s from 1986 (!!) called “Power Through Darkness” that is a prime example of the brutal extremity the band was willing to create during the very first murmurings of Death Metal, a virginal time of expression and exploration.  “Cannibal Holocaust” follows and this is when the album really gets going.  This is the title track from the album which featured Phil Anselmo on guitar and Frediablo playing guitar who played with Killjoy in the mighty WURDULAK.  The lo-fi dirty jam is massive in its vitality, full of twisted vocals, a NECROPHAGIA classic.

The third track, “And You Will Live in Terror,” is taken from the 2000 EP “Black Blood Vomitorium” and in many ways shares a vibe with EYEHATEGOD especially in the raw guitar work and experimentation with unheard of amounts of distortion.  The following track, “It Lives in the Woods,” exhibits a perfect blend of blasting and skull crushing rhythms as well as a Killjoy performance showing off his Black Metal-like shrieks.  Still, though, all the creative experimentation is kept within the scope of the project.  The tenth track, “Unearthed,” is absolutely killer and is taken from the album “Harvest Ritual Volume I,” a personal favorite.  The song has one of the most pulverizing grooves ever made, an absolutely dominating song in every way.  Tracks such as this cause me to become pensive wondering how the band never caught on more because this is some of the best Extreme Metal ever released.

Killjoy was so integral to the Metal scene.  Where he shined was in his ability to unite powerful music and true horror atmosphere to create a most potent musical vibe.  He was a founding member of the Death Metal movement who had his hand in many different projects, a consummate workaholic whose output spans over three decades.  This collection of his work with NECROPHAGIA truly shines a light on the career of one of the most important and prolific musicians in the scene.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Chainsaw Lust
2. Cannibal Holocaust
3. And You Will Live in Terror
4. It Lives in the Woods
5. Bloodfreak
6. Embalmed, Yet I Breathe
7. Burning Moon Sickness
8. Blaspheme the Body
9. Flowers of Flesh and Blood
10. Unearthed
11. London (13 Demon Street)
12. Insane for Blood
13. Bleeding Torment
14. Mental Decay
15. Beast with Feral Claws
16. Reborn Through Black Mass
17. BNN
18. Fear the Priest
Killjoy – Vocals
Record Label: Season of Mist


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