Necrophile (Jpn) – Awakening Those Oppressed (2017)

“Formed back in 1987, NECROPHILE are widely considered to be one of the first Death Metal bands from Japan. The band was formed in 1987 by two high school students, Takaaki Ohkuma (vocals/bass, ex-Criminal Christ and later Multiplex) and Keisuke Matsunaga (guitar/drums, ex-Messiah Death). During their original tenure, they were quite prolific. They recorded two demo tapes in 1988 and 1989 – The Terminal Derangement and Beyond the Truth, respectively – and especially the second demo received a lot of attention in the the worldwide underground scene. Then, with the lineup of Takaaki (bass/vocals), Takashi Tanaka (drumers, later Transgressor and Anatomia) and Kenichi Matsunaga (guitar, later Hellchild), they recorded the Dissociated Modernity EP and a split LP with Singapore’s Abhorer, both in 1991, and also played several gigs in the USA with Sadistic Intent, Deceased, and many others” – Iron, Blood And Death Corp Page

Awakening Those Oppressed beings with a glorious cry of guitars leads to raw drumming and equally aggressive riffing that carries the momentum of a primal attack. Unlike generic Autopsy worship or a straightforward Immolation derivation, Necrophile lies still in a very traditional Japanese death metal sound. The punk’ish tone, the mangled riffs and the batshitcrazy approach. This is a fantastic death metal record produced to perfection where you can listen to the smallest of movements in the background. The names of the tracks definitely take us to Autopsy and so does some of the drumming (Ex: Track 2 – Desire for Asphyxiation), the rhythm is absolutely relentless, this is like sitting in an armoured truck and just shooting continuously at an enemy that is equally persistent and revengeful. With every passing track Necrophile simply gets better, the sound is produced and mixed to perfection!

We need such quality work across other releases in the genre. The bass in particular is a delight, it’s right there, right behind the downtuned guitars providing the comforting layer to rest and yet never resting. Whilst Track #4 – Hysteria Siberiana displays a supreme sense of guitar oriented approach, the very next track Irrepressible Discharge is completely led from the front by the insane drumming. Fast, precise and lethal till the last moment, the band displays an excellent restraint in not overdoing it but sticking to the boundary to what is appropriate and can be done. The very next track the band summons all evil from the land of the east onto their composition and skillfully meanders through the atmosphere. Necrophile is an absolute delight, if you like death metal in any shape or form, you have to check them out! 

Album on Spotify