Necrophobic - Dawn of the Damned
Century Media
Blackened Death Metal
10 songs (47:57)
Release year: 2020
Necrophobic, Century Media
Reviewed by Goat

Back again for a ninth outing, on initial inspection the latest full-length from Swedish death-fearers Necrophobic is little different from their previous album, 2018's excellent Mark of the Necrogram. Similar artwork, similar title, same line-up outside of the replacement of long-term bassist Alexander Freiberg with Interment's Allan Lundholm... what here is even new? Well, Dawn of the Damned may continue the band's basic formula of Slayer + Maiden + Satan but it does so just as well to the point where this album may as well be a direct continuation of the previous one, which is tremendous news for those familiar. After a particularly epic intro in Aphelion, Darkness Be My Guide and Mirror Black roll in like a more melodic Watain, all galloping rhythms and triumphant melodies, a hefty dose of widdly guitar magic helping ensure that especially the latter track feels like some lost 90s classic rather than the work of here and now.

Necrophobic are good at this and prove so repeatedly across this album, be it the wild soloing on Tartarian Winds or the genuinely epic seven-minuter The Infernal Depths of Eternity, tapping into Bathory-esque levels of grandeur. Bands that settle into a rut can frustrate at the repetition and seeming lack of development. Yet there are those for whom a settlement can be a positive, a sign that they've found something they enjoy playing, are good at, and that produces music that their fans enjoy, and all the signs are aligning that this latter stage has been achieved for Necrophobic. Classic melodeath-infused pieces like the rampaging As The Fire Burns are all shiny guitar heroics on the surface with blackened grime more visible the closer that you look, and the closing Devil's Spawn Attack features Destruction's Schmier on guest vocals in a blackened thrash assault that hits like a train. None of these songs push any boundaries but they are all flawless metallic constructions that will please the ear and exercise the neck, and for a band active since 1989 to still be this sharp and enjoyable will always raise a smile and the horns.

Killing Songs :
Darkness Be My Guide, Mirror Black, The Infernal Depths of Eternity, Devil's Spawn Attack
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Necrophobic that we have reviewed:
Necrophobic - Mark of the Necrogram reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Necrophobic - Womb Of Lillithu reviewed by Neill and quoted 70 / 100
Necrophobic - Death to All reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
Necrophobic - Hrimthursum reviewed by Alex and quoted 87 / 100
Necrophobic - Bloodhymns reviewed by Jack and quoted 75 / 100
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