Black Metal, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal

Necrophobic – In The Twilight Grey (Review)

Bands: Necrophobic
Release: In The Twilight Grey
Genre: Melodic Black/Death Metal
Country: Sweden
Release Date:15th of March, 2024
Released viaCentury Media Records

The tenth release of Swedish powerhouse Necrophobic is a difficult beast to review. Seriously. If you are a fan of the band you already know what you are getting. And you can also expect nothing but the highest quality of these guys. Establishing themselves in the swedish melodic black metal scene with their classic debut The Nocturnal Silence in 1993, they quickly became one of the household names of the genre with several strong and genre-defining releases.

The questions now remains what In The Twilight Grey can offer that has not already been said by these guys. At first I was kind of underwhelmed by the records more laid-back approach that is displayed here compared to the last two “comeback” records Mark of The Necrogram in 2018 and the killer Dawn Of The Damned released in 2020. But with each subsequent spin the songs started to really bloom stronger and stronger. Starting with a relatively calm guitar intro “Grace Of The Past” offers just what you would expect from an opener by Necrophobic. Lightning fast drumming, melodic but still biting tremolo riffing and the vicious and perfectly fitting vocals by original singer Anders Strokirk , who rejoined in 2014 to replace his successor Tobias Sidegard. “Clavis Inferni” then goes straight to the throat with its shout along chorus and evil thrash chords portrayed during the verses.

Right from the beginning of the record it is evident that a lot more classical heavy metal influences come into play this time around. The dualing guitar playing by fellow axe men Sebastian Ramsted and Johan Bergebäck, such as in the more traditionally structured and pagan influenced “As Stars Collide”, displays this quite well, making said number one of the catchiest moments on the album. Pre-released single “Stormcrow” then picks up the tempo once again but offers a cleverly placed break section around the two minute mark which elevates the track substantially and serves as another straight forward highlight while making way for the more adventurously structured second half of the record. Late album highlight “Nordanvind”and the title track offer a more mid-tempo approach that shows how great Necrophobic are at creating a captivating atmosphere when they choose to dial down the battering and opting for a more subdued sound. Here the longer run time of these individual tracks also work quite well with little to no fat attached to these songs. But this is an attribute that could be applied to the record as a whole as the quality delivered here is simply top notch. While maybe not fully original, the genres execution is certainly close to perfection on the bands tenth record.

It is more than remarkable for a band as long-standing and respected as Necrophobic to release albums with such a high quality on a constant level. After some regular spins In The Twilight Grey will certainly convince any long-time fan and potential newcomer to the band that these Swedish legends still have it in them and are still hungry, entering their 35th (!) year of existence

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