NECROPANTHER "The Doomed City"
Title: The Doomed City
Release date: November 15, 2019
Format reviewed: (high-rate) mp3 promo
NECROPANTHER launched their self-titled debut album in 2016; cementing their spot in the underground with their sophomore release, "Eyes of Blue Light" in the early 2018; followed by the EP "Oppression" (first in a series of EPs individually written by one of the band's members), roughly a year ago. On an exponential ascension and wasting no time, the Coloradans are about to drop, in just a few short days, their third full-length effort, titled "The Doomed City". NECROPANTHER conceiving its own brand of death metal with the arrival of this new album! A relentlessly brutal (as fuck!) slab of metal, vicious, but also intriguingly melodic at the same time.
From the first bars heard I was awed by the spectacular guitars' tone and attack, present on "The Doomed City". For whatever peculiar reason, the word "deforestation" kept coming into my train of thoughts, related to the impact the album's guitar sound had on me. (A/N: Actual deforestation is not encouraged, and should only be conducted in a sustainable fashion.) The vast array of riffs, hooks and harmonies, courtesy of guitarists Paul Anop and Joe Johnson, all well incorporated into the songs' structures, work very well with the splendid authority of the rhythm section (bassist Marcus Corich and drummer Haakon Sjogren), yet allowing full expression of Paul's vocals, including the omnipresent, phenomenally well double-tracked (distinctively tonal) growls. Vocals which are giving a dramatic story reenacting quality to the thirteen tracks on the record. Not only the guitar parts and the vocals, but everyone is present in the final mix, and well placed from a sonic perspective, with great sense of space and sound stage depth, yet dense and in your face. Technical but not overly. I have to say that the album's sound production impressed me: despite the sheer musical brutality, the sound recorded is clean and dynamic. The album was tracked at Green Door Recordings with Felipe Patino (NOFX, Rise Against, Casualties etc.) and mixed and mastered at Flatline Audio by Denver’s own Dave Otero (Cattle Decapitation, Allegaeon, Khemmis, Primitive Man). “I feel like we are really reaching our stride in our songwriting and recording process,” says vocalist/guitarist Paul Anop of The Doomed City. “The drum performances Haakon [Sjogren] put down are some of the best I’ve ever heard and working with Dave was great. He had an ear for what we wanted so it went really smoothly.” Cover art by Denver graphic artist Max Sherman.
Thematically, and like the previous full-length "Eyes of Blue Light" (centered on the Dune saga), the new fiery thirteen-track effort pays homage to another sci-fi classic "Logan’s Run" which depicts a utopian future society. “We chose Logan’s Run as a deliberate challenge to youth culture. Rebellion is not about decadence. Fundamentally, it’s about ethical beliefs that undermine authority and power,” notes guitarist Joe Johnson. Adds bassist Marcus Corich, “The story of Logan’s Run is thematically rich. I think we each found areas of relevance in the story and made those portions our own.” Chimes Sjogren: “This album is unique – every member wrote music and lyrics. It was a very collaborative effort. I think we succeeded in creating a strong album fusing multiple voices and sub-genres.”
In conclusion: thirteen tracks, clocking just a smidge under forty minutes, of first-class blackened melodic death/thrash metal, with all it's fury and desperation, poise and mastery, summing up into a massive sounding album for the ages! "The Doomed City" is a very strong contender to 2019's Metal Album of the Year, deserving all the accolades, and then some. Utterly recommended! 10/10
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© 2019 by Emil Chiru