Necropanther – Betrayal (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 1st March 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

The savage mutation of death/thrash with sci-fi/dystopian future cinema themes has been the game plan all along for Colorado’s Necropanther since arriving on the scene in 2014. With three previous full-lengths and two EP’s under their belts, this fourth album Betrayal takes inspiration from the movie The Warriors as well as the Greek story of Anabasis by Xenophon, which fuels the storyline for The Warriors. Listeners can expect a crushing aural journey in these eleven tracks – incorporating blackened screams, death growls, plus musical components that traverse the death, thrash, black, and neoclassical metal platforms.

The juxtaposition of hefty riffing against some circular, blitzkrieg tempos and chugging, galloping transitions keeps your ears perked up for the next left field sequence that assaults – quickly getting in and out often in three minutes and change arrangements. Bassist Marcus Corich even receives solo props in a small instrumental shift during “If You Can Count”, the backwards guitar break possessing a psychedelic twist against the bone crushing riffs plus twin harmony segments. Guitarist Paul Anop and Marcus share vocal duties – the former more raspy while the latter tackles the low end growls, sure to send shivers down spines on killer tracks such as “Into Danger” and double kick whirlwind “Don’t Stop For Death”, where there’s some tantalizing, emotive lead parts that traditional, neoclassical mavens treasure. Comparisons to acts like Exmortus and Revocation seem most obvious, although there’s a bit more of a raw aspect to the vocals and specific musical tones that pushes the blackened edges beyond the norm. Saving the title track for last, it also happens to be the most adventurous at 5:18 in length – tremolo-fueled parts sitting next to a semi-technical power riff parade, the guitar parts drawn out into oblivion for a feedback-oriented ending.

Given the attention that Colorado has been gaining for its wide array of talent across multiple genres, it’s not surprising that Necropanther can assimilate into a plethora of live show opportunities based on their songwriting and execution for Betrayal. Those who love the aggression of death/thrash with solid musicianship mechanics that’s uncompromising through intent and execution, this could be your latest group to hoist high to the rafters.

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