Review Summary: Necropia offer a refreshing, progressive outlook on Death Metal, and this debut EP makes it clear that the band possess great potential for the future.
Necropia's debut release is a creation that is difficult to describe in the form of a single genre, as it is clear that there are lots of different elements and influences implemented into this 7 track EP. Although it clearly adopts the distinguishing characteristics of a death metal album; heavy guitar parts, blast beats and varied tempos, there are other features to the music that entice the listener, and bring lots of variety to the table. The genre listed on the New Yorker's facebook page is 'Progressive Melodic Death Metal'. As I said, it's a hard one to pin down.
To begin, the 50 second introduction to the EP 'Into the Further' is a simple track, which consists of crescendoing, discordant strings, with muffled cymbal crashes in the background. The intro is nothing special, but it works nonetheless. After seeing the album cover (a half rotten carcass in the shape of a crucifix) I expected to hear a much more brutal introduction, maybe similar to 'New born porn' by Infant Annihilator, but this was not the case. There is an evil and sinister air to these sustained strings however, and it sets the scene for the album nicely.
Contrary to this arguably boring first track, the second, and first full length song immediately demonstrates the capabilities of Jonathan Reinheimer; the bands only guitarist, with a complex riff/solo which begins right from the off. The first section of 'Mfish' has a solo that is fast, and is appropriately accompanied by blast beats, a few cymbal crashes, and a heavy bassline. As I mentioned earlier, one of Necropia's main strength is their variety, and this is shown when the tempo is decreased after the first 8 bar phrase, and a mellow minor melody takes over, without the blast beats shown previously. This section is then replicated with the inclusion of power chords and heavier guitars before a small bridge and the first verse. Here, the vocalist showcases his wide spectrum of pitch; with screeching high screams and deep growls which he can easily interchange between. The lyrical content is dark, but not mindless psychotic rambling that is typical of the 'genre'. The first breakdown comes one and a half minutes in, and brings elements of Deathcore into the song, with china symbol smashes and sluggish chugging on the guitar. The song then carries on in the same fashion, with some new riffs, and some of the previous ones repeated, with another decrease in tempo and a quick verse. A solid track, that leaves the listener hungry for more.
As for the remainder of the album, fast paced, varied vocals are used. It would be interesting to see this band live, due to the difficult nature of constantly switching between vocal pitches. A highlight for me are the technical, computerised cuts that are used from time to time in order to make the transitions between phrases more smooth. The songs are solid compositions with repeated and catchy sliding riffs, and the fret work is very neat; each note played can be heard distinctly. A highlight of the EP is the regular change of key; from major to minor or vice-versa, to mix it up and keep the record varied. The number of breakdowns are well regulated, something you often cannot always say about heavy bands nowadays. They aren't few and far between, but also aren't at the end of every verse; showing creativity and clear musical talent; but then again, Necropia aren't a deathcore act.
This self-titled debut release is a hard-hitting record, and I am left eagerly anticipating the future of Necropia, as this EP demonstrates their huge potential. It will be hard for them to exceed an album of this quality however, as it is extremely diverse, and the worst thing they could do is make a carbon copy of it under a different title. Overall, an excellent debut. (4/5)