Released: 2007, Scarlet Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Italian Necrodeath´s new bloody adventure, called DRACULEA, which also marks the band´s 7th full-length album of their career, puts us on a journey with the life of the infamous Dracula Vlad Tepes; basing each song on the blood-curdling stories of this previously mentioned master of evilness.
Since the band´s previous album, 100% HELL, the band lost their 2nd guitarist right after the recordings for this album were finished. With Pier Gonella (Labyrinth, etc.), Necrodeath recorded DRACULEA at Outer Sound Studios in Rome and the result is pretty fuckin´ amazing, I can tell! What could you honestly expect from a band that has stuck together since 1985, and kept their vision about Necrodeath almost about the same for more than 20 years, what Necrodeath should be musically all about. All this steady experience of theirs can be seen so well through their music, too.
Compared to 100% HELL, DRACULEA is a tad heavier yet more experimental effort from them - and by ´experimental´ I mean it in the positive sense of the word really. An interplay between some brutally fast, ´Slayer-ish´ parts and more harmonious, epic-like and melodic parts is something that Necrodeath have put more emphasis on this time on their latest album than any of their previous albums before. ´Diversity´ has undoubtedly been one of the keywords for the Necrodeath-camp when putting together the songs for DRACULEA. The bottom line is, however, there´s not just only 2 or 3 songs on DRACULEA that clearly hit harder or are just better than some the other tunes on this new Necrodeath opus. It would be more rightful to say that each song´s existence on DRACULEA is well justified. For the ´speed freaks´, obviously such little thrashers as "Smell of Blood" (a song which they shot a video for, too), "Fragments of Insanity" and "Impaler Prince" give the best adrenaline rush in your blood circulation system, whereas for the suckers of more varied stuff, any of the remaining 6 tunes should service your own purposes for all that, I believe. Especially the album´s closer tune, "V.T. 1476" is probably the most epic and weirdest tune that you could possibly expect from Necrodeath. The song features Lady Godyva as the guest female vocals, and overall the song should work out like a gateway to your worst fuckin´ nightmares. Damn, every time I´m playing the song, it tends to send some accursed, cold shivers down my spine. Yes, scary and very spooky sounding it surely is. Also, Necrodeath´s own cover version for Venom´s "Countess Bathory (hardly any surprise)", sounds really cool - naturally fitting into the concept of the album very well.
All in all, the concept that they have built around Vlad Tepes, has very well put alive through their songs on DRACULEA. I wouldn´t have ever believed, not even in my wildest dreams that Necrodeath had done such a successfully made concept album that DRACULEA is from start to finish. Their attempt on a wider scale of different, worth-trying-out elements on DRACULEA, has very been well accomplished, too. DRACULEA is indeed yet another fine album in Necrodeath´s absolutely glorious roster. Get it!