Ah, Sweden. Endless supplier of badass melodic death metal. How I love thee. We've all heard In Flames
, Arch Enemy
, and Dark Tranquility
. Well, all those bands are puppy-eyed pus
sies compared to the very Swedish and very badass Necrophobic. Yeah, I said it. Once in a while comes a metal album that punches you in the balls over and over again and makes you enjoy it. Bloodhymns
, my friends, is that album.
Necrophobic seems to run the gamut of metal in this album, creating a dark, melodic, yet crushing blend of death, black, and thrash metal. Bloodhymns
features scathing vocals, driving guitars and one hefty rhythm section, oh and a guest appearance by Satan himself, since only the dark lord can make such driving, evil metal.
Now, I don't intend on making this review all "bla bla METAL METAL METAL cheese cheese cheese PURE EVIL!"...but take one listen to this album and you shall be emitting these same words from your mouth. It's rare to find an album driven by such intensity as Bloodhymns
is. And yet, Necrophobic matches that intensity with such beautiful, seemingly passionate melodicism. It seems as much an emotional and spiritual album as it is a bone-crushing, cun
t-smashing metal album. Bloodhymns
Case in point: Taste of Black
. opening tracks are usually defining moments for albums. You've got your "Battery"'s, your "Hells bells"'s, and so on and so forth. Tracks that set the pace and anticipation for the rest of the album. Taste of Black
immediately defines Bloodhymns
with ferocity, attacking your ears with such speed and force and at the same time pleasing them with intense melody. You may realize after reading all my reviews that I love me some goddamn melody.
I have to say something about the lyrics real fast. You can sum up the lyrics as the weakest thing about the album, particularly because of the cheesy, evil, "christianity is inferior" lyrics. Not to say they aren't badass, but with music so driven and heavy, lyrics don't mean a damn thing and therefore have no place in this review. So sue me, I don't enjoy poetry much. The music is the focal point in this review, as it is on the entire album.
The pulsating, cun
t-smashing metal doesn't stop there, with Dreams Shall Flesh
and Act of Rebellion
(of which the chorus bellows "I punch my fist right through your flesh and tear out your fu
cking spine", causing me to inadvertantly shi
t my pants) continuing the fast-paced melody-driven madness. Blast beats and tremelo-picked riffage dominate. I'm pretty sure this would be the music being played during the crucifixion of Christ. And Christ would be banging his motherfuc
kin' head off.
As I said before, this is an album driven by melody and ball-crushing riffs. In no way is this repetetive, at least not in a bad way. Shadowseeds
strikes up many a black metal influence from start to finish. Mourningsoul
could be called the "ballad" on this album, but if you told Necrophobic that, they'd most likely slice your throat and crush it in their hands. Not to say this song isn't as heavy or fast as the other songs on this album, no, it's just as good but relies more on melodicism than anything. The opening clean riff, while too short, gets the point across. Mid-way through the song, some tasteful guitar leads come into play through melodic riffing. One of the best songs on this album.
is versaitile, there's no doubt about it. Not once does the music relent. The melodic, heavy riffs are brilliant. The drums fit without being too over-the-top and too predictable. Bass serves its purpose by not standing out at all (JUST KIDDING, BASS PLAYERS!). Songs like Hellfire
and Cult of Blood
should be metal anthems, songs heavy enough to make Kerry King wet himself. These songs are also where the band's shredding skills come into play. While nothing amazing, these solos fit, rather than mindlessly shredding out-of-place.
Roots of Heldrasill
has a very dark mood to it. The slow pace of the song, the droning guitars, the anguished vocals..it all ends 2 minutes into the song and it's back to Necrophobic crushing your balls. The album closes off with Blood Anthem
and the instrumental Among The Storms
, and it is a great way to end a great album. Blood Anthem
summarizes this album; dark lyrics, heavy yet melodic music, a tinge of black metal here and there, and leaving you suspenseful of where Necorphobic will be going next in the song. I love how each song will keep you guessing. This track is no exception. The pounding drums in this song, as in every song on Bloodhymns
drive the music, keeping it heavy and keeping your attention.
is capped off with Among The Storms
, a great instrumental. Usually, instrumentals are a bad choice, to me, for ending an album, but somehow this fits very well with the whole mood of the album. Swords clash throughout the song as some beautiful, emotional lead work is laid down between dark riffs and pulsating drums. A sense of drama, evil, and hatred is given by this album and I find myself listening to it over and over again. Maybe it's Satan fuc
king with my ears.
As I end this review, I know I usually name off some recommended tracks...but each track on Bloodhymns
stands out on its own, so therefore I recommend the entire album. Happy listening, folks!