The Necrophagistical Epitaph
2002 edition of Fuck the Commerce festival was the first opportunity to see Necrophagist crew on the stage. I only knew band’s name and few complimentary opinions coming from around. But what about the show? Just good tech-death with “Crystal Mountain” as a Death’s cover in the setlist. Then two years passed and I bought their second attack called “Epitaph” released by Relapse Records. First contact and I’ve been just blown off. Ha, and musically stabwounded. And if I got any idea what Necrophagist was all about, “Epitaph” completely carried it into the next absolutely better level. Frankly speaking, I didn’t expect such a sonic madness.
Thirteen years have passed since its premiere and the main question should be asked: does “Epitaph” is still such enjoyable slab? Man, it really does! And it definitely belongs to the top-league of technical death metal genre. But this is different a bit as compared to the gory debut “Onset of Putrefaction”. The leader, Muhammed Suiçmez has finally found three young talented musicians that were able to follow his complex musical visions and the second album has been recorded by just a band. With a perfect sound realization, the music itself became… more accessible. It’s impossible to find here this pervasive putridity, gore-swamped lyrics or even some grinding parts. No, it’s not the way “Epitaph” treads as it astonishes me with… life and vivid uncontrollable streams of energy. This is a real volcano of emotions with rampant lava burning everything on its tract. I can do nothing but worship composing sense of Muhammed (only one closing track is written with a help of Christian). And yes, technical virtuosity is present everywhere, but I have no impression it has been served to be technical for the sake of being technical. Indeed, the guitar tone in this recording form doesn’t let “Epitaph” get the higher level of brutality, in turn, rather steady monotonous deep growling balances it in a something way. The Necrophagist team is an unity, no matter if the wall of sounds furiously strikes the silence, or if I am delighted by musicians unimaginable skills.
And you better believe me, because each single song is a confirmation of my words. And maybe if “Ignominious & Pale” is the leader of the pack, no track or note is a waste of time. The band perfectly doses the songs tempo and the whole final effort erases such words like ‘boredom’ and ‘yawn’ from vocabulary. It’s worth to pay attention and drown in completely broken parts in “Diminished to B” (it seems it doesn’t want to take a run at all), or in queerish ending of “Only Ash Remains” and more atmospheric side of two last killers. On one hand, the music is to the bone, precise, elaborate and seemingly hard to understand, on the other hand the whole musical performance gets my nervous system with ease not only because it is catchy in a sick way which cannot be unnoticed. In a sonic stormy sea of rhythmical surprises, musical fury and accuracy, “Epitaph” became just a superb death metal album. And these eight songs are a real… epitaph for the band. It is widely considered 2010 year as a last active period, seems that third extremely long-awaited album won’t be another fascinating part of Necrophagist discography. Or, maybe I am wrong? Muhammed, do you hear me?
(written in January, 2017)