Apocalyptic Necromancy

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Goreaphobia pretty much know everything there is to know about death metal -- after all, they've been dead for the bulk of their career! Don't forget, this is a band whose claim to being Philadelphia's first-ever death metal outfit, given their emergence on the scene circa 1988 and demo releases beginning two years later, is virtually unquestioned -- just forgotten -- because they proceeded to break up just a short time later and didn't get around to recording an official album until 2009's Mortal Repulsion! That's almost 20 years in the grave, if you pardon the pun (chances are you can, if you pardoned the previous fifty). Now, with the arrival of 2011's hastily assembled follow-up, Apocalyptic Necromancy, Goreaphobia clearly appear to be well and truly "undead" and ready to make up for lost time, taking listeners back through the death metal ages with their welcome combination of traditional genre benchmarks and modern production standards. As such, perhaps it's best to start from the beginning, aesthetically speaking, by pointing out third track "The Attractor," which is essentially a Venom remake in death metal form (about as rudimentary and old-school as extreme metal gets), followed by the incubating, blackened death/thrash of "Void of the Larva Queen" and "Rust Worms and the Noxious Fevers They Bring" (think any number of '80s Brazilian cult bands), and then the esoteric death trips of the title cut and "Footpaths in the Vortex of Doom" (imagine a cross between the Chasm and early Immolation). Beyond that, noteworthy entries include the unusually un-frenetic grooves of the excellent "Xurroth Rreeth N'ves Helm" (whatever the hell that means) and comparatively forgettable "Shoud of Hyena" -- plus the drawn out phantasmagoria of "White Wind Spectre," which sounds like some kind of death metal soundtrack. All of which is more than enough for vintage death enthusiasts to come scurrying like starving rats toward Apocalyptic Necromancy. It's not bad for a bunch of "dead" dudes.

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