Necrophagia – Whiteworm Cathedral (Season of Mist)

Sunday, 16th November 2014
Rating: 7/10

Long standing death metallers Necrophagia first opened up shop in 1983, only to call it quits in 1987. After about 10 years off, mainman Killjoy restarted the band and they’ve been fairly consistent about new releases ever since (though it has been three years since their last release, Deathtrip 69). This far into their career, there’s no real need to toss out the playbook and fans will no doubt enjoy this seventh full-length from the band.

Admitted by Killjoy himself to be a more “straightforward and catchy” than some of their more experimental albums in the past. The finished product of Whiteworm Cathedral is exactly that. Horror and gore-soaked death metal that feels like a trip through time. The riffs are simplistic and catchy, but they work. There’s a bit of heft to the guitar tone, though thankfully not quite to the “Entombed-clone” level and provides the meat to which this mostly American death metal band operates on. There are some upticks in speed, such as “Elder Things,” which are a welcome change from the mostly mid-tempo ranged cuts that tend to dominate the album. You can expect to hear some audio clips tossed in from time to time, such as on “Fear the Priest” and “Angel Blake” but it never gets too obnoxious (as these things have a tendency to become), and the lyrics are very vintage death metal, full of the usual clichés (blood, Satan, violence) but would you really want an album like this any other way?

Whiteworm Cathedral doesn’t make any changes to the genre whatsoever, but it’s a fun death metal romp full of ‘80s horror tropes. Sometimes you need to hear an album that knows exactly what it is and isn’t afraid of the ramifications. Solid stuff.

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