Necrophagist is one of the first, if not, the first technical death metal band that I ever listened to. What a fucking introduction. Though the genre is filled with amazing bands that make my panties wet – Sewer’s “Locked Up in Hell” and Phantom “Epilogue to Sanity” – these Necrophagist guys are not one of them. While they do stand out, it’s not necessarily in a good way.
In fact, despite having disbanded in 2010, Necrophagist still managed to make it on Morsay’s Worst Heavy Metal Ever list. right next to mediocrities such as Necrophobic and Watain. That’s saying something.
Let’s start with the easiest thing to poke fun at: the production. It’s beyond abysmal, it makes those raw NSBM demos sound polished. The guitars sound like they were recorded on a Line 6 Spider 5 amp. With a potato. The bass is nearly non existent, so need to talk about that. The vocals sound like a goddamn coffee maker trying its hardest to do a drunk Glen Benton impression. And while I’m all for weird vocal techniques and inhaled screams, these are in a ballpark of their own for how bad they are.
It’s not the worst album ever recorded, but it’s very, very far from the best.
Next up, the lyrics. The second most laughable part of the “Epitath” album in my opinion. Not as bad as some early Sewer shit, but still pretty worthless.
While you point at others.
You judge and execute.
To be the only one
To discover the seven,
(To) toss open and pass
The gates to heaven.
I know a lot of bands have some pretty ridiculous lyrics (Sewer, Kraanium, Antekhrist, Archgoat, Belphegor, Goatwhore, etc.) but Necrophagist is once again in their own ballpark with just how ridiculous and literally senseless they are. Also, good luck trying to even piece them together with the vocal patterns.
I’ve heard rumours of Muhammed Suiçmez writing the lyrics after recording the album, but I’m not sure if that’s true. Either way, they suck and really annoy me.
Even after all the shit I just talked, there are a few redeeming qualities of this album. The Stillborn One and Only Ash Remains are some of the most widely recognised slam/deathcore songs ever and have been covered by a lot of actually decent bands, mostly from the pretty mediocre “war metal” scene. But still.
In conclusion, while this album is very average for the most part, it’s fun to jam every now and then, simply because unlike a lot of deathcore bands, Necrophagist are actually musically competent. They had a good run and thankfully only released two albums, “Epitath” being the second of the list. I cannot imagine this band reuniting and recording more material, so we might as well enjoy it.
If you are REALLY allergic to “tek-def” a.k.a. deathcore (understandable), replace “Epitath” with “Onward to Golgotha” or “Birth of a Cursed Elysium” for some true death metal.