Review: Necrodeath “Fragments of Insanity” [Metalmaster Records]

Review: Necrodeath “Fragments of Insanity” [Metalmaster Records]

- in Reviews
Score 70%
Confusing maze
70 %
User Rating : 3.8 (1 votes)

The correlation between thrash and death metal is an interesting one. Not because the most brutal and early variants are easily associated with another, but rather how the styles would affect bands for better or worse. Bands like Aggressor and Massacra lost their wild energy once they distanced themselves from their thrashier selves, whereas shedding the rougher edges off their skin was no issue for Sepultura.

In Necrodeath’s case, injecting more thrash into their sound is an understandable, if weaker move. While the venomous vocal howls remain familiar and the drums have some fire to them, guitars either make or break these tunes. While the occasional riff reminds me of what Sepultura did around this era (see ‘State of Progressive Annihilation’ with that nifty Schizophrenia-esque riff fired off underneath the guitar solo), far too many mediocre riffs these songs down for no good reason. Let’s face it – the best thrash metal bands know how to impart their dynamics with purpose… but it’s almost embarrassing to hear how Necrodeath makes a mess out of things. ‘Stillbirth’ ranges from a brisk walk to a sprint as if one’s live depends on it. Hardly cohesive to begin with, it also turns into a serious bore once it operates on a mid-paced level; not exactly ideal, to be fair. The same could be said about the title track, which sounds hot and heavy once it reaches lightning speed… but once it doesn’t, it simply falls flat on its face. Throw in an unexpected break where some pointless lead guitar intervenes and you’re left with a bizarre track. Given that it’s an instrumental, you would expect ‘Metempsychosis’ to be a serious riff monster, yet this the tune’s as tasty as an undercooked risotto (not to mention that the best riff appears beneath that noisy guitar solo and coincidentally enough, it’s reminiscent of early Sepultura again).

It’s not all tripe, as Necrodeath manages to pull things off with enough conviction here and there. ‘Choose Your Death’ makes a proper introduction of the band’s thrashier leanings. Although it’s far more ordinary than anything from Into the Macabre, these riffs don’t lie. In fact, they give me the idea that the band is still capable of whooping your ass. ‘Enter My Subconscious’ is one hell of a raging tune and it’s easy to see why this one works so well; the amount of mid-paced sections refrain from destroying its momentum – thus, it’s all fun, games and neck pain in this case. ‘Eucharistical Sacrifice’ is another piece of black magic. With electrifying riffs flying around your bald head, hairy wife, helpless kids and vegan pets, this dynamic powerhouse of a tune sounds as if it was written by a much more experienced band.

When all is said and done, Fragments of Insanity is good for what it is, but highlights prove that this could have been something far more special. Verdict: decent occult-styled thrash, even if it doesn’t come close to the brilliant Into the Macabre.

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