I’m new to these guys so I wasn’t too sure what to expect but what I got far outweighed whatever I was thinking. It is quite simply amazing; from the drums to the vocals it will blow you away.
Opening with “Masquerade”, an eerie atmospheric instrumental that sets the tone for the album, great melodies and heavy drum and bass lines that give you a taste of what’s to come. “Mask Of Red Death” tears into you like an animal; a manic drum beat and slapping bass line lay the foundation as the guitars go back and forth with killer precision, a monster solo from Conan puts the icing on the cake, that and his fantastic vocals which remind me of the early stylings of Kreator or Sepultura. The thrash-styled “Oathbreaker” is brilliant, a thick bass and thumping drums set the track up with a monster beat, combined with some unreal guitar play and Conan’s vocals; giving you an amazing track. “Mind Of Metal” carries on from where its predecessor left off but with a heavier feel to it, a bouncing drum and bass combination have a killer groove to them with both Aguilar and Nunez giving it socks, Conan and Becker once again trade off on the guitars to amazing effect, very Megadethesque at stages, throw in the grunting, growling vocals and you have a serious contender for track of the album. Next on the block is the astounding “Storm of Strings” instrumental, this is what you imagine Yngwie Malmsteen on speed mixed with thrash would sound like, it’s fast, furious an all-around masterpiece if ever there was one.
“Test Of Time” gallops along to a funky bass-driven groove, backed up by a massive drum beat, cutting riffs and Conan’s savage vocals, Once again the guitar work from both Becker and Conan is off the hook. “Darkest Of Knights” is a beast of a track, coming in at over eight minutes it allows the band to open up with both barrels, and they do in a big way; a booming bass line coupled with a pulsating drum beat pushes the tempo of the track allowing the guitars cut loose with some heavy riffage, trading back and forth nicely with some brilliant solos in the mix, an epic track that stands head and shoulders above the rest. You have got to love “Prophecy”; it’s a foot-stomping, head-banging metal fest, there’s a hint of Priest and Megadeth in there but what really sets the track off is Nunez’s bass, the tone and power from it are killer. “Children Of The Night” starts off a little like “Masquerade”, eerie and foreboding before the drums and guitars come crashing in over the top, frantic but nicely paced, a major feature on the album is the guitars and it’s no exception here other than the fact they blow anything gone before away switching seamlessly between full-on thrash and fretboard wizardry, Conan is on top form vocally as he rips it up balancing the grunting and death tones with equal measure. The full-on brutal assault of “Beyond The Grave” is relentless, driven by a savage drum beat, Conan tears it up once more on the vocals and when his guitar and Beckers step out from the shadow of Aguilar’s drums they will leave you for dead with some epic shredding, a killer track.
The instrumental interlude “Overture” is a short bit of respite before launching into the title track “Necrophony” a whirling dervish of a track that sees a dual attack from the guitars and drum and bass onslaught that will leave you breathless, the classical overtures are in full force here as the guitars play off each other creating a fantastic melody to the backdrop of Conan’s guttural growling, one of my favourite tracks on the album. The album closes with an amazing cover of Maiden’s “Moonchild”, I actually had to check that I was still listening to the album, it’s that good of a cover, Conan surprises with his clean vocals and in particular the high notes as it is a massive departure from his usual form.
This album oozes class and will blow even the harshest critics away.
Necrophony arrives Friday, August 25th courtesy of Nuclear Blast.
1. Masquerade 2:33
2. Mask of Red Death 4:42 3. Oathbreaker 3:24
4. Mind of Metal 4:33
5. Storm of Strings 2:55
6. Test of Time 4:48
7. Darkest of Knights 8:11
8. Prophecy 4:14
9. Children of the Night 7:13