A later production of the Swedish generation of death metal bands, Necrophobic combine melodic music with simple fast death metal and produce an impressive rhythmic offering.

The Nocturnal Silence
Black Mark

Production: Clear and heavy, bass driven with good enough range to encompass everything we'd need to hear.

Review: Necrophobic fight a difficult initial conflict attempting to avoid being lumped with the Swedish sound that has been cloned so often as to almost obscure the originals. Their method of combat so far has been to write music that is more technically advanced and more deliberate than that of the crowd - ending up with a very compact but effective style.


1. Awakening... (4:25)
2. Before the dawn (4:22)
3. Unholy prophecies (5:41)
4. The nocturnal silence (5:13)
5. Shadows of the moon (1:15)
6. The ancients gate (5:30)
7. Sacrificial rites (4:52)
8. Father of creation (6:02)
9. Where sinners burn (4:11)
Length: 41:33

the nocturnal silence by necrophobic a swedish death metal band
Copyright © 1994 Black Mark

A single guitarist does not hamper this process: the lead guitar work that lurks on this album achieves musical significance without excessive scale-spewing or other great evils of mediocre metal. Drumming impresses for its precision and coherence with guitars, although its aims are clearly not to reinvent but to perform with enlightened function. More competent than average for metal bass, the bassist on this album folds his deviations from form well into the music to accentuate essential transition.

Harsh vocals howl in less of a guttural chortle than a shriek of bladed throat damage. Although song structures and musical influences are anchored securely in the jazz-influenced section of rock music, the essential nature of metal comes through in the shaping of melodic patterns around harmonic cores for the purposes of song building. While sparse to the ears of those coming later, The Nocturnal Silence once discovered emerges with epic emotion supporting the raw energy and resilient natural power of these potent yet listenable songs.

Spawned by Evil
Black Mark


Production: Compact but clear, somewhat abstracted by studio isolation.

Review: This EP has four tracks of which three are covers and one is an original. The original is fast but simple, a standard power chord progression ripped off more at black metal speed with thrashing pulsing drums and some breakdowns, bridges and power variations in the riff to add some momentum to its impulse. Bassist Sidegard is singing and guitarist David Parland/Blackmoon is moving on leaving Martin Halfdahn in his place. "Spawned by Evil," the original, is both exciting and disappointing. The new vocals are good, rhythmic and screeching like black metal singing. Fast, black metal composition, death metal pattern shifting, and melodic speed appeal make the new music of Necrophobic tantalizing but at the same time its predictable composition leaves no real impulse to care.


1. Spawned by evil (3:18)
2. Die by the sword (written by Slayer) (3:21)
3. Nightmare (written by Venom) (3:28)
4. Enter the eternal fire (written by Bathory) (6:35)
Length: 16:44

spawned by evil by necrophobic a swedish death metal band
Copyright © 1996 Black Mark

The covers are Slayer "Die By the Sword," done faithfully and precisely; Venom's "Nightmare," which sounds like bad Motley Crue evil rock like that for which Venom are idolized; and "Enter the Eternal Fire," a Bathory original that is ludicrously simple sounding in the hands of such competent players. All covers are faithful yet recreated within the Necrophobic sound.

The future will see if this band can put more of the diligence that they showed on the last album into their patterning of their newer songs, demonstrating that the quasi-technical combinatoric approach to death/black metal will produce powerful music without depending on speed and simplicity for attention getters.

Black Mark


Production: Decent but thick with imprecision, not distortion, and so jumbled onto itself, this production suffers under a glossing of aesthetic into overlap, leaving mostly loud.

Review: Moving securely into black metal and completing the transition begun by their last EP "Spawned by Evil," Necrophobic bring forth their new product of fast-paced metal in the melodic death and black metal traditions.

Well integrated into the aesthetic needs of black metal in the Dark Funeral, Dissection, and Marduk traditions, these musicians play ludicrously well and so blow through quite a bit of complexity quickly when they want to -- the frequency of their choice not to is a weakness of this album which has these players dropping into familiar figures where invention was required. This weakness leads to exaggerations of phrasing and tonal shape, meaning that in an album of fine musical work often the obscuring aesthetic is the cliché overblown in its own coverup.


1. Black Moon Rising (2:51)
2. Spawned By Evil (3:21)
3. Bloodthirst (3:39)
4. Venaesectio (1:23)
5. Darkside (3:55)
6. The Call (3:26)
7. Descension (1:21)
8. Nailing the Holy One (2:42)
9. Nifelhel (4:12)
10. Christian Slaughter (6:16)
11. "Hidden" Outro (4:48)
Length: 37:56

cover of necrophobic's darkside the third album from this swedish death metal band
Copyright © 1997 Black Mark

Musically creative elements of design make this album eminently listenable over most of this genre. Verse-chorus structures and silly or frivolous main thematic melodies offset this power and bring forth the worst of the time period. Fast changing power chords charge across rigid drumbeats for verse riffs, rising into choruses of melodic and sweet counterpoints to the rushing collision of verse and bridge to the harmony. Overall the musicality wins out, in the simple ability to compose melodies that are both intriguing and balanced, something many less-trained or less-attentive musicians miss. Yet while musicality increases in crisp solidity, it seems that the essential focus of this band have gone and the form is the goal more than a servant of it.

Violent sawing guitar alternates between gently moving riffs which conserve cycles of intense energy for discharge, leaving the layering of bass and guitar racing through patterns over drums with mostly blast beating motions. Quotes from older styles of black metal, American death metal, and current Norwegian fare reign alongside customizations for the rhythmic signature of Necrophobic, a bouncy but serious pace at which interchange of dominant beat from guitar to drums and bass can occur with ease.

Forever entrenched in these riffs and structures is the seeming conflict between a death metal band working further into the higher speed choices of that genre and a black metal band moving closer to melody but often returning instead to rock n roll roots. All instrumentals remain deliberately simple, recombining in connectivity throughout the cycles of the song if not invisible undercurrents, filligreed with the fine and tonically-aware guitar solos which a tribe of worms crawl through the predicted harmonic atmosphere and much in the way of jazz fusion guitarism work a more evocative context out of it.

The simple beauty of this album makes it an easy choice, but its overall direction often lacks composure, leaving the moments of beauty and cliche to vie for dominance of aesthetic. Despite this discohesiveness and appreciable judgement errors in lyrical emphasis, there is beautiful music here, including some reasonably composed although emotionally overplayed introductions which do not interrupt the passage of this album towad musical power.

BLACK   |   DEATH   |   HEAVY   |   SPEED   |   THRASH   |   GRINDCORE

Copyright © 1988-2004 the Dark Legions Archive