Review Summary: infected corpses and chemical rot
If 1991 was the height of the death metal in its glory years then it isn't far off to call 2009 the 1991 of revival death metal. Funebrarum dropped their modern classic The Sleep of Morbid Dreams
, Cruciamentum unleashed their gloomy torrent of English filth with Convocation of Crawling Chaos
, Portal and Ulcerate each dropped records that were arguably the best of their career, and The Chasm unleashed the massive Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm
in representation of the might of the Central American scene. Whatever the governments had been slipping into the water supply in 1991 must have found its way back into the rotation almost two decades down the line and sparked a wave of putrid inspiration that hadn't been seen in years. However, among all the stellar death metal albums that surfaced during this burst of quality at the end of the first decade of the 21st century lurks a relatively overlooked and underappreciated album in the Norwegian assault of Obliteration's Nekropsalms
. In fact, to call Nekropsalms an overlooked and underappreciated modern classic doesn't really do the album justice; it is easily one of the best death metal albums to come out since death metal died in 1993 and could easily be defended as the best death metal album to surface in the midst of 2009's pantheon of stellar albums.
is pure, murky, downtuned, putrid, doom-tinged death metal straight out of the bowels of 1990. Trace elements of just about every important development in the death metal world show up somewhere on this record. Autopsy's brand of rotten sewer sludge pervades the album but influences ranging from the thrashy assault of Morbid Angel circa 1989 (see: Exterminate
) all the way to the putrid murk of the mighty Finnish scene (see: The Worm that Gnaws in the Night
) show up in choice quantities somewhere within the labyrinthine maze of influence that composes Obliteration's sophomore effort. The tortured wails of frontman Sindre Solem are like the ***ed up lovechild of Martin Van Drunen and John Tardy with a side of Leprosy
-era Death sprinkled in there for good measure. This stellar package comes lovingly wrapped up in one of the best production jobs you will ever hear on a metal record (especially in the sea of triggered, studio magic bull*** that saturates the majority of metal records this side of 2000). The fully acoustic, thick, muddy punch of a drum sound that would give Fenriz a nice half-mast (which I'm fairly certain it actually did) sits right beneath the clear but filthy synthesis of the guitars and deliciously audible bass.
doesn't really do anything that hasn't been done before, but when everything is executed as perfectly as it is on this record then it doesn’t matter. What Obliteration have accomplished better than probably any other band in this revival scene is to compile a record that provides an almost flawless synopsis of death metal as it existed worldwide in the glory days of the movement, and for a record that revels in reanimating a dying genre this is probably the most successful they could have ever been. However painfully underrated Obliteration's Nekropsalms
remains it stands as one of the highest quality releases to spawn from the respectably interesting revival old school death metal movement. It is essential to anyone interested in what death metal should sound like in the post-millennium climate and a essential part of any genre enthusiasts collection of records.