MP3: Necrophagist – Seven from Epitaph (2004)
MP3: Necrophagist – Stabwound from Epitaph (2004)
If ‘metal-head’ is an honorific term measuring the duration (as well the depth) of one’s commitment to metal, I am probably not a metal-head.
I am a dedicated and passionate student of metal, but also a fairly recent convert. The lynchpin in my conversion: Necrophagist, who I first heard somewhere in the middle of a ten-hour car ride in the summer of 2006. Pushing play, the friend who introduced me to Necrophagist declared with confidence that they were “the best death metal band in world.” This kind of enthusiasm is typical of devotees to death metal, and is hard to resist. Walking home from the library a few weeks later with “Stabwound” on my iPod, I had a thought which went something like “these guitar solos are really, really good.” And thus, my conversion was complete.
Necrophagist incorporates an almost absurd degree of technical proficiency into their music. If you are into metal you have probably already heard them. But besides those who already like fast, brutal, technical metal, fans of jazz, progressive, and guitar dweebs (players or fans of Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen, i.e. me) could find plenty to love. What sets guitarist and vocalist Muhammed Suicmez apart from many other gifted guitar players is the degree to which his solos are seamlessly integrated into the music. Necrophagist’s songs are constructed around complex guitar parts, so two minutes of sweep-picking can be a development and expansion of what has gone before instead of a showcase for Suicmez’s awesome talent.
Necrophagist also go far beyond technicality and complexity for its own sake, and many of their songs could be even described as catchy. It is weird to find yourself humming “Intestinal Incubation,” but just try to get those harmonics out of your head. Necrophagist, in other words, make really good music and (unlike Steve Vai) they are not a guilty pleasure. Depth and complexity are terms that apply to a lot of heavy metal, especially death metal. Necrophagist can easily become a bridge to some of the even heavier bands at Summer Slaughter like Origin, Beneath the Massacre, and death metal legends Suffocation. Metalheads are already looking forward to Summer Slaughter.
Non-metalheads, I want to convert you: Necrophagist are the best death metal band in the world.