Released: 2011, Scarlet Records
We generally don’t spend too much energy focusing on compilation or ‘Best of’ reviews here at Metal-Rules.com. However, THE AGE OF FEAR is kind of a 25th Anniversary thing and they deserve the respect and attention so this is a bit of a public service announcement.
Aside from having one of the coolest band names in Metal. Think about it Necro=Death so…Death Death? Awesome! I’m not being sarcastic either, it is a very cool name. Having said that I’m not the world’s biggest Necrodeath fan. I bought FRAGMENTS OF INSANITY way back and I was not totally impressed. It was good, but not mind-blowing. The band fell off my Metal radar checked in again several years later with 100% HELL. The band has been incredibly productive churning out 7 albums in 11 years since reforming in 1999.
So here we are in 2011 with a very decent career retrospective on their longtime home Scarlet Records. There are a generous 15 tracks for an hour of great music. The cuts are spread evenly across the bands career with all 9 albums getting representation in (roughly) reverse chronological order from most recent to oldest.
There is not much in the way of new material except a live version of ‘The Theory’ from PHYLOGENESIS and an alternate version of ‘Queen Of Desire’ from TON(E)S OF HATE. To be honest I am reviewing a digital copy so I can’t comment on packaging. That factor may be the make or break decision, namely if the package has tons of cool material it might be worthwhile, despite a bit of a lack of rare or unreleased material.
For me I think this is a great comp, it gets me caught up on the band a little bit. For a die-hard Necrodeath fan that has all the albums you will want it for the couple of cool rarities and a nice encapsulation of their career. You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned music at all in this review yet! If you are in the market for some Necrodeath and have never heard the band, THE AGE OF FEAR is a great place to start. These Italians have been churning out high-quality gut-wrenching Blackened Death before it was cool to do so. Guttural vocals, punishing drums, lots of ripping solos and the occasional atmospheric gothic styled interlude all contribute to a really classy band that has been (in my limited experience) consistently high quality.