Necrophagia - Harvest Ritual Vol.1 [Coffin Records - 2005]Iíve always been a sucker for horror influenced metal, and when itís done well it can be great creepy fun. Necrophagia have always been about fusion of extreme metal and Horror and here theyíre at the top of the game.
Their songs in the past have used samples from films, us horror fans all know and love. Also openly taken soundtrack elements and worked them into their song structures take Cannibal Holocaust (from the ep of the same name) where they recreated the main theme from said film in a extreme metal format. The film samples are only use on one track here. Theyíve also made some of the most shocking music videos ever which have even left me tasting the bile.
In the past Iíve enjoyed the tracks Iíd heard but for the most part they seemed rather standard death metal, peppered with other extreme influences. But when I heard track The Fog from their 2004 ep Goblins Be Thine- I was hit by itís superb mix of 80ís synth horror soundtrack and metal. It seemed to be done in an original and different way, letting the soundtrack element co-exist with the metal, neither suffering because of the other.
Now Enter Harvest Ritual Vol.1 where almost every song is mixing the soundtrack and metal elements to great effect. Like Unearthed ,that bashes you around the head with a wonderful brutal riff then the keyboards drop in with an almost the vibe of the soundtrack from the 80ís horror film Phantasm. Itís all beautiful mixed, so the keyboards enhance and add to the atmosphere of the guitar riff and Killjoy's intestinal regurgitating vocals.
On Cadavera X it feels like youíve been dropped into a horror film. As you wearily look around and make your way through a mist shrouded graveyard. Your feet are met by the sound of hunger groaning from beneath . A chill travels down your spine as you make out a ramshackled house. A hunched figure dragging a twitching shack towards itís black mouth of a door.
Even the striped down metal tracks like the opener Dead Skin Slave are enjoyable, changing pace towards the end for some nice tortures grinding guitar riff. There's even some electronics used sparingly on the chanted keyboard symphony of Akumu.
Through out the tracks remain catchy, brutal and atmospheric. A difficult balancing act ,this is heightened by the production that is both gritty when it should be, but also you can hear everything with great charity. Sure some of the later riffs donít hit home as well and remind me of other things, but for the most part. This is a gruesomely satisfying feast. That will have you come back for more. Itís not world changing, just bloody fun!