Season of the Dead

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When a band calls itself Necrophagia, you know that its members are into shock value -- the word "necrophagia" has been defined as "the eating of the dead." The members of this obscure death metal band from Ohio had a mutual appreciation for '80s horror movies, and that interest is hard to miss on Season of the Dead. Some retailers refused to carry this LP because of the gruesome illustration on the front cover, which depicts a gang of ghouls feasting on the remains of a man they have presumably murdered. But truth be told, Necrophagia comes across as cartoonish rather than genuinely disturbing. While Slayer and Deicide took their fascination with evil and the occult so seriously that their death metal really was unsettling, Season of the Dead sounds like the work of young guys who have overactive imaginations and a taste for Freddie Krueger movies. The Krueger character, in fact, has obviously influenced Necrophagia singer Killjoy, who is easier to understand than a lot of death metal vocalists. Although not a gem, Season of the Dead is an entertaining, if limited, footnote in the history of death metal.

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