Necrophagist
Epitaph


4.5
superb

Review

by Drunken Viking USER (20 Reviews)
June 10th, 2006 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Necrophagist, is a four piece Technical Death Metal band from Germany. They were not always as so, in 1992 and '95 Necrophagist recorded the two demos Requiems Of Festered Gore and Necrophagist respectfully. After the making of these demos the entire band besides Muhammed Suicmez quit leaving him to record their first full length, [Url=http://sputnikmusic.com/album.php"albumid=1612]Onset Of Putrefaction[/Url] by himself. He did all of the vocals and guitar by himself, and he programmed the drums and bass. This album is considered by many to be a classic Death Metal album, it had the perfect blend of mind blowing solos and tasteful riffs. Now onto Epitaph, Necrophagist's second full length...

Epitaph starts off with Stabwound. It's a brilliant opener. The drums are top notch, with fills everywhere and some of the fastest double bass around they are a definite highlight. The guitars are also very technical indeed. With the sweeps and taps in this song you begin to wonder why Muhammed isn't brought up more often when there is talk of guitar greats. The bass is inaudible for the most part, until about halfway through we hear a fill from him that involves hammer-ons, and pull-offs something easier said than done on a bass. The low growls are also superb, true death grunts here folks, no imitations.The Stillborn One is much slower. A haunting harmonized pinch harmonic riff kicks off the song. The chorus is very strong, mostly because of the great drumming from Hannes, and the grunts from Muhammed. The solo is mind blowing once again, the alternate and speed picking from both Christian and Muhammed really sticks out. The bass is heard a few times, like before doing fills, but mostly just blends into the background. A quick repetition of the intro lick and the songs comes to a close. Ignominious and Pale starts off with a blistering guitar melody, this song focuses heavily on blast beats, pinch harmonics and harmonies. After the brutal beginning the song starts to slow down for a bit, then right back into the fast riffing and incredibly fast drumming. The solo is also amazing, it sounds somewhat like Stabwound's, but doesn't have tapping. After the solo the song slows down quite a bit. The low growls are again present, and it makes you think how the fuck is Muhammed going to do both simultaneously live"

Diminished to Be's intro contains a stop start riff, the drums really steal the show in this song, technical sound, fill after fill at a higher BPM then you could imagine. Close to halfway through the first solo starts, it sounds much like the previous ones, in that I mean with harmonies, extraordinary technicality, and yet still emotional. This song like others relies on harmonies, especially during the pinch harmonics or squeals. Towards the end we hear a completely different riff then the rest of the song. It's much slower and less notable than the rest of the song. Epitaph, the title track, starts off fast and technical, it's almost like a solo is used for an intro, the harmonies also imply that both guitars are playing, so Muhammed isn't the only genius here. Overall the riffing sounds like any other song, they haven't really changed their formula that much. It's starting to annoy slightly. The solo is unlike other solos however, it's much more of a traditional solo, in that I mean that there is a solid rhythm piece behind it, instead of a twin guitar solo it's just Muhammed and he's shredding, but he's able to convey emotion better then previous tracks. Only Ash Remains starts off very unorthodox, with a bass solo, right after the guitars go into a harmonized guitar solo, it sounds unlike the rest of the harmonized ones on here, much different. The first verse or growling over the power chorded guitar and double bass is definitely one of my favorite.

Fear is never gone from your soul
that saw humiliation.
Being prey to the blackest of demons,
paralyzed you fail.



The lyrics are interesting to say the least for the song, every stanza ends with the word fail, and on most cases the word before is either you or they. The solo is great again, and we get to hear some whammy bar, a nice relief from the constant sweeps and shred. The last thirty or so seconds a completely different riff happens, it's basically power chords picked upward with a somber melody played over it. Seven starts off with a chilling intro, the last note of each riff is harmonized by the guitar and it sounds haunting, the bass also adds to the already gruesome atmosphere. Seven focuses more on the instruments than the vocals, as the entire lyrics for the song are

Distracting from
your deficiencies
while you point at others.
(Once) enlightened
you judge and execute.

To be the only one
to discover the seven,
(To) toss open and pass
the gates to heaven.



The bass is very well heard on this song, all over the place Stefan's fills and runs are heard. The bass ends the song with a ten second riff. Symbiotic in Theory starts with again fast fast drumming from Hannes. He has got to be one of the fastest drummers, not only in Death Metal, but all metal today. The guitars create quite a interesting riff about one forth the way in. Much like the intro to Only Ash Remains the guitars do a crazy harmony. The riffing reminds of Stabwound's guitar wise, with mostly eighth notes, until halfway through we hear a power chord riff, with a more chugga-chugga feel. The outro solo is one of my favorite on here, it's double tracked, meaning that when one solo ends another starts creeping in. The tracks title is screamed a few more times, then the song stops. And Epitaph is over.


Pros
- Original, I can't think of another band that sounds the sam
- All the instruments are top notch
- Great production, the mix is good and each instrument's tone is perfect
- Muhammed's low growls sound great, some of the lowest of screams are on this album

Cons
- All of the vocals are the same, no difference between them
- Sometimes the guitar soloing can be overly technical, and unneeded
- All of the riffing sounds similar

Necrophagist is/was
Christian Meunzner - Guitar
Hannes Grossmann - Drums
Stefan Fimmers - Bass
Muhammed Suicmez- Guitar/Vocals



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user ratings (1248)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Silenius
June 10th 2006


305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review. Great cd. Stabwound has some ridiculously clean guitar work.

Drunken Viking
June 10th 2006


1023 Comments


Yeah, I fell flat on my ass the first time I heard those sweeps. Muhammed and Christian own.

Drunken Viking
June 10th 2006


1023 Comments


I missed my chance to sadly. Hopefully if they come here again I'll be able to.

Confessed2005
June 10th 2006


4002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Superb technical death metal ; very original as well. I remember hearing 'Seven' on a Relapse Records sampler a while back. The sweeps these guys pull off are totally sick!

the2stranger
June 10th 2006


130 Comments


Good review, but really just words can do justice to this cd.
The completely different riff '' you're talking about at the end of Only Ash Remains is a tribute to some classical composer.
It's just a classical piece, played by guitars instead of an orchestra.

I love the bass solo on Stabwound.
And I can recommend any who has the chance to see them, to go!
They were awesome live, pulled of every song without any scre-up

Flynn
June 10th 2006


44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review. I absolutely love the solo work on Epitaph, great album.

AA-12
June 10th 2006


35 Comments


I love this album so much.

ToWhatEnd
June 10th 2006


3172 Comments


Nice work, this band is crazy. This guy in my guitar class last year would always play their stuff (he also introduced me to CoB) as he is obsessed with any band that sweeps.
Just make sure you fix the word same in the pros section. Once again nice review.

Neoteric
June 10th 2006


3243 Comments


Sweet review :D

Killtacular
June 10th 2006


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Amazing death metal.



Jaw-droppingly amazing.

Thor
June 10th 2006


10250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

These guys would be my favorite band if the vocals weren't so awful. Good review, though.

Drunken Viking
June 10th 2006


1023 Comments


Thanks for the comments. Yeah I agree with Thor, the vocals can start to annoy a litle bit, but I usually look past that into the amazing solos.

Thor
June 10th 2006


10250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I constantly listen to the first 45 seconds of Stabwound, and then start it over when the vocals kick in. I can't get enough of their instrumentation though.

Txus
June 10th 2006


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A Death Metal classic.

eug008
June 10th 2006


97 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great Review, awsome CD too

Thor
June 15th 2006


10250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Is it just me, or is the intro to Seven totally fucking awesome?

iliketoplaydrums10111
June 15th 2006


128 Comments


Good album and Good review, I like Onset better though (obviously) but this is a solid DM album.

wrathchild88
June 15th 2006


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

All the guys in Necrophagist are exceptionally talented at their instruments, and they managed to put it all together in this album. Hooray for technical death metal!

Thor
July 13th 2006


10250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Musically it's brilliant. But I just can't listen to it because of the growls. They're just not good at all.

JumpTheF**kUp
November 30th 2006


2722 Comments


Hmm...I tend to like Death Metal, but when I first heard Epitaph, it kind of seemed to me that it had reached a level of metal so fast that I could no longer consider it music. But after a few listens it kind of sunk in. It's pretty good, I'd buy the album if I had money and I could actually find it.

EDIT: ZOMG Stabwound is orgasmicThis Message Edited On 12.01.06



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