Necrophagous: In Chaos Ascend-2022.

Necrophagous:Death Metal from Sweden.

Discography:

In Chaos AscendFull-length2022

Members:

Joakim SvenssonBass (2019-present)
See also: BirdfleshDevilryPoltergeistSkogenToi Toi, ex-Legio Occulta, ex-Litania, ex-Lelldorin, ex-Entrails, ex-Talion, ex-Nataz, ex-Solsken, ex-Swords of Destiny
Martin MichaelssonDrums (2019-present)
See also: Istapp, ex-Entrails, ex-Nivlhel, ex-Unchained, ex-Framtyr
Tommy CarlssonGuitars, Vocals (2019-present)
See also: Istapp, ex-Entrails, ex-Visceral Bleeding, ex-Nepharitus, ex-Abomination, ex-Devoured, ex-Infested

One thought on “Necrophagous: In Chaos Ascend-2022.

  1. gasmask_colostomy, January 7th, 2022

    Skin-peeling death metal: need it be smart, or are riffs enough? Many would say the latter, and Necrophagous arrive to test that hypothesis with In Chaos Ascend. Obviously, they arrive with lots of riffs to expend on the hapless listener’s ears, yet I feel justified in calling the album’s smartness into question for a couple of reasons, namely that the trio of Swedes have not considered the need for a plan B, nor have they mastered the use of the word “thee”. That second point may seem rather minor when considering 45 minutes of death metal, yet as someone who probably spent a cumulative total of 2 or 3 years being besieged by Shakespeare, I feel the need to mention that “thee” stands as the archaic equivalent of the modern “you”, leaving Necrophagous with a very awkward song title that (once “translated”) reads ‘Blood on the Stone of You Monuments’. (The proper term should be “thy” or “thine”, depending whether the ‘you’ is singular or plural.) Contrast that with ‘At Dawn Thee Immolate’, which at least is grammatically possible, although not the most logical statement if meant as a threat, since surely one would be immolated in the early morning, not receive a wake up call to go out and burn stuff.

    But as I’ve mentioned, Necrophagous turn up with great handfuls of riffs, plus quite a lot of experience underlying this debut album. Not so long ago, all 3 members were active in Entrails – a resurrected Swedeath outfit from the original wave of the genre – and remain involved in Istapp and Birdflesh, as well as several lesser-known groups. That speaks of a wide variety of ventures, yet however much I anticipated hearing a conventional Stockholm performance from the trio of Tommy Carlsson (guitar/vocals), Jocke Svensson (bass), and Martin Michaelsson (drums), I couldn’t help being a bit amused when it turned out that most of the influences on In Chaos Ascend are American. Still very much classic death metal influences, but not much Swedish anyway. The 11 songs here draw most from normative Deicide and Morbid Angel stylings, incorporating a small measure of Dying Fetus brutality and nice chunk of Cannibal Corpse’s groove. As such, straightforward ideas calm the minor upset of Necrophagous nodding strongest towards USDM.

    In order to really test the theory that riffs constitute the most important element of death metal, these guys act like a true three-piece and resist the temptation to play outside their single guitar set-up. That means very little in the way of melody and no soloing to be found across the album, something which certainly raised my eyebrows on perceiving it for the first time, even if I rarely hanker after such elements while listening to In Chaos Ascend. Instead, a higher position is afforded to the bass, which pops and clunks in a pleasing sonorous pocket, occasionally making its way to the fore of the riffing, as on ‘At Dawn Thee Immolate’. This gives certain songs a feel reminiscent of technical death, though the drumming tends the most to the outer ranges of technicality and brutality, Michaelsson showing his capability both with jagged blasts and headbangable grooves during ‘Wolf Mother’, where I find all 3 extremes of pace – unpredictable fast, lurking slow, and rock-solid grooving. However, riff-heavy vocal-driven songs generally between 4 and 5 minutes prevent any instrumental complexity from becoming wearing.

    Until now, I’ve mostly held off evaluating the actual riffs, though it should have grown clear that In Chaos Ascend practically lives and dies by them. Carlsson’s forceful low bellow serves only to enhance the thrust of any given song, but his riffcraft drives each composition forward in a manner similar to that of Krisiun, routinely alternating between mid-paced and speedier assaults, as well as rhythmic breakdowns that share the burden among his bandmates. Necrophagous benefit from a very sensible production and mix that impress with beefy effect during both palm-muted and open-string passages, retaining just enough subtlety to switch between quiet and loud sections for the segmented ‘The Plague and the Arts’. Nonetheless, I’d like to make it clear that those songs with the most memorable riffs or the finest juxtaposition of elements stand out above the rest, particularly those 2 aforementioned ‘Thee’ songs, the title track, and ‘Horns of Seven’, which could almost be a Roots-era Sepultura number at first, so much does it exaggerate the downtuning of the guitars. In view of the similar formula throughout the album, I would be in favour of losing one or two songs from the total, even if none actually call out for excising.

    Thus, it remains only to say that Necrophagous have done a decent job of their first proper venture together (since Jimmy Lundqvist could be seen as in charge of their brief service in Entrails), though might have tried a little more in terms of special features to make In Chaos Ascend truly stand out. Indeed, being actually smart seems generally unnecessary, what with the stack of riffs doing enough to sate most death metal palettes, yet not much stands to differentiate this act from the pool out of which they spring, nor would I be able to extract the name Necrophagous from memory if played clips of most of these songs. The Swedes certainly chose their influences deliberately and crafted this debut to match their preferences; now it only remains for you to decide whether it accords with thine.

    Originally written for The Metal Observer – http://www.metal-observer.com/3.o/review/necrophagous-in-chaos-ascend/

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