Necrodeath – The 7 Deadly Sins

Necrodeath have always sat a bit strangely with me. I really enjoyed their second album, 1989’s Fragments of Insanity, but the rest of their catalogue was rather hit-and-miss for me… maybe it was because they couldn’t make their minds up as to what genre they wanted to fit into, having flirted with groove, death metal, black metal and thrash extensively throughout the 2000’s without really sticking to anything in particular. That isn’t to say that the band was outright bad, but I found a few of their later releases a little difficult to listen to. Over the past few years they seem to have got themselves back on track though, solidifying themselves as a bastard mix of blackened death metal and thrash, and their new album is a surprisingly competent affair because of it.

It’s nice to hear an older band such as Necrodeath trying to subtly mix it up without sacrificing the raw speed and aggression that they’re known for – though by no means original ideas, the use of tempo changes and insertion of clean passages in some places (like over heavy choruses) helps add a bit of flair to what would otherwise be a rather boring, fast-for-the-sake-of-it metal record. A few brief guitar harmonies thrown amongst the riffs (!) on tracks like ‘Pride’ give the distinct impression that Necrodeath were making a genuine effort to make a good album instead of simply putting out another release because the money was running a bit thin, and I applaud them for it. This said, the tracks are unbelievably energetic and violent, with the two and a half minute ‘Wrath’ in particular being an aggressive, almost punkish beast that’s probably the ‘thrashiest’ track on the record, and the seven minute ‘Greed’ being a fitting and climactic end to the core of the album itself. Everything’s pretty tight-knit in the performance and songwriting departments, making for a very enjoyabe listen from beginning to end, and it’s great to hear some old school blackened thrash/death that packs a punch to it without trying too hard to appeal to any particular fanbase; death, black and thrash fans will all find something here that they’ll like. It’s not the be-all-end-all but it’s certainly better than most.

In addition to the sins themselves (*groan*) we also get two re-recordings of ‘Thanatoid’ and ‘Graveyard of the Innocents’ from the Fragments of Insanity and Into the Macabre albums respectively, which… well, are surprisingly good. Re-recordings are usually something that should be approached with caution as they can either be fantastic (Anacrusis’ Hindsight) or dowright fucking abysmal (Sodom’s The Final Sign of Evil) with no middle ground whatsoever, but I always thought that Necrodeath’s earlier material deserved such a treatment due to the rather poor production on some of their early releases. Fragments of Insanity in particular sounds very thing these days, so it’s a relief to hear two of the band’s best songs redone with a more modern sound well enough that you could argue their superiority over the originals – yes, they do feel like bonus tracks, but it’s a welcome end to the CD.

Given that I didn’t really like the past few Necrodeath releases, The 7 Deadly Sins has knocked me sideways. It’s a solid black(ened) metal album that, while a tad unoriginal, keeps things interesting often enough to warrant your attention and if this is where the band is at musically now, then their next album could very well be the best of their entire career. This one comes extremely close, so pick this one up without a second thought.

Reviewer: Dave Ingram Jr.

May 27, 2014

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Necrodeath – The 7 Deadly Sins

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1. Sloth
2. Lust
3. Envy
4. Pride
5. Wrath
6. Gluttony
7. Greed
8. Thanatoid
9. Graveyard Of The Innocents

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