Utterly ordinary grindcore with splatter-film lyrics, Necrophagia's The Divine Art of Torture tries hard to shock and horrify, but falls short on both fronts. The band's umpteenth release in the two decades since its 1983 debut, Season of the Dead, The Divine Art of Torture adds Mirai Kawashima (keyboardist and primary songwriter with the Japanese art-death trio Sigh) to the lineup, but unfortunately, the ten tracks don't have the experimental bent and wit of Kawashima's primary gig. Instead, it's just more of the same: lyrics that blend Edgar Allan Poe and Herschell Gordon Lewis, monotonic riff-heavy songs that never quite break out the way they continually threaten to, and leader Killjoy's grunty delivery. Even for fans of the band's previous work, it's hard to shake the feeling that even at its best, The Divine Art of Torture doesn't live up to its title.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason