Reviewed: November 2020
Released: 2020, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
Swedish death metal veterans Necrophobic have returned with their ninth studio album: Dawn of the Damned, a title I would find quite fitting given how the world has received a lot of damnation this year by a pandemic that has inspired many a death metal artist; it would be no surprise if these boys took inspiration from Covid.
That aside, one would certainly gather from this latest tome in the Swedes’ contribution to the blackened death metal world that Necrophobic knows just how to do their job and have come out on top again. Everything a keen fan would expect is here: precision blast beats, down-tuned and jagged guitar riffs, angry rasps of hatred and occultism over hefty and ear-splitting bliss.
What makes a band of this ilk worthy of staying around is the ability to soothe and comfort a keen metal fan, which is how I felt when giving this album a listen. If you were looking for any big experimentation or radical newness, then I can’t say there is any of that other than some very nicely placed guitar solos that had me thinking of traditional heavy metal.
Old school is a worthy term to use for this release as it isn’t a ferocious onslaught of technical death metal nor a kind of blackened death that will be sought out by heavily advanced musicians. “Dawn of the Damned,” is a fine example of how the boys from the earliest days can carry themselves into new realms and ages with the same attitude exhibited on their earliest releases. “Mirror Black” (as shown below) is a great example of some classic death metal that is just as strong in the same vein as Necrophobic’s first releases.
Necrophobic are one of the bands who put Sweden on the death metal map and this latest release says the band’s most loyal members have kept it true to its themes and sound despite numerous line-up changes over the years.
If you’re looking for occult-themed metal played at a vicious speed with beautifully written lyrics, then this is the album you’re looking for. Necrophobic may not have made any huge changes to their sound but they have kept true to their word, so this is an album ideal for keeping the faith of the old fans and attracting new blood into the band’s following. Great job.
2. Darkness Be My Guide
3. Mirror Black
5. The Infernal Depths of Eternity
6. Dawn Of The Damned
7. The Shadows
8. As the Fire Burns
9. The Return of a Long Lost Soul
10. Devil’s Spawn Attack
Joakim Sterner – Drums
Anders Strokirk – Vocals
Sebastian Ramstedt – Guitars
Johan Bergebäck – Guitars
Allan Lundholm – Bass