Release date: August 9, 2011
This has been a filthy year for slime crusted death metal returns. First Autopsy crawled from the table with a macabre awakening, and now Philly death-doom outfit Goreaphobia has risen up from the depths with Apocalyptic Necromancy. The quartet’s follow up to 2009’s Mortal Repulsion is a 12-track slab of brutal sonic carnage.
Always something of an underground pheneomenon, Goreaphobia’s following is rabid, and this album is not for weak-kneed trend-metallers. Apocalyptic Necromancy is pure-grade old school auditory death.
Despite decayed beginnings as early as 1988, it was not until founding members Chris Gamble (bass, vocals) and Alex Bouks (guitars) joined forces with drummer Jim Roe (2007) and guitarist VJS (2009) that the band finally released its first full length album in 2009. Apocalyptic Necromancy represents the follow up to that epic release. The album, which rides the line between skilled production, requisite rawness, and adequate sludginess, was recorded, mixed and mastered by Roe.
Mortal Repulsion was a long (I mean freaking long) time coming, and offered a more than worthwhile slab of death from Goreaphobia’s post-hiatus return. But where that album tiptoed across your face, Apocalyptic Necromancy is a full on mosh pit across your cranium. The band has opened the rotting corpse of its creativity and come to play.
From the blistering annihilation of the opening title track, the band goes for the throat with rabid ferocity. Gamble’s crypt-like vocals give voice to the bowels of hell.
There are moments here (“Xurroth Reeth N’ves Helm”, “Darkstar Dementia”, “Igigi Reactor”) where the band taps into more traditional metal elements that evoke fond memories of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon and Motorhead… on a month long bender, wrapped in razorwire, and locked in a mausoleum to putrify.
Listen to “Xurroth Reeth N’ves Helm”:
There are also moments the band channels its inner thrash child.
“Shroud of Hyena” is a foul blast of beautiful doom and afflicted torment. Meanwhile the album’s most intriguing track is the haunting, near 8-minute opus, “White Wind Spectre”, which is a doomy experimental slab of caliginous aural necrosis.
Closing the album out is the toxic speedkill rampage of “Rust Worms And The Noxious Fevers They Bring”. The title says it all. This is the equivalent of a badger eating at your grey matter.
Throughout the album, while the rhythm section plods or pummels along, it is the guitar work of Bouks and VJS that elevate the songs. Both caustic yet catchy Apocalyptic Necromancy raises Goreaphobia from the grave to the basement of death metal aristocracy.
Fans of Goreaphobia will nosh on this like a zombie on cerebral tissue, but this is also a perfect inauguration to those who have yet to partake of the band’s nihilistic metal perdition.