Cadaver

Cadaver

Cadaver

Necrosis

Candlelight Records

Whoah. This takes me right back to the first time that I heard Death’s Scream Bloody Gore or early Sepultura or even Hellhammer’s Apocalyptic Raids. Like my friend Mike told me when he saw I was still sporting my Entombed Left Hand Path tour shirt during our senior year in high school, “It’s nice to know that some things never change.”

Especially not something this vile.

The sound of Necrosis is blackened and brittle death metal of the finest order, with enough classic thrash flourishes and poor impulse control to keep them ahead of the pack. They were there during the second generation renaissance of death metal, a prestige signing to Earache, temporarily sidelined by the rise and fall of Norwegian black metal, before returning to wickedly satirize both the meat market nature of the music industry and the open-mouth obedience with which everyone fetishized the internet as Cadaver Inc., but now they’ve regrouped if only long enough to deliver this one last album, a parting shotgun to the groin. And maybe that’s enough.

The blood-throated screams and raw grunts at the end of “Necro As Fuck,” as the song renders itself to pieces in a fine red mist of blast beats and white noise, are enough to let one know Cadaver is out to fight and die for their art. Did I mention that Appollyon of the almighty Aura Noir (the review is on the site somewhere) is the omega frontman for this project? Fuck fucking fuck yeah. Appollyon brings an almost hardcore intensity to the music with his completely unrestrained vocal that oft lapse into fits of primal scream therapy. He means it.

Cadaver revels in confusion. Out of nowhere on “Decomposed Metal Skin,” the tone of the song changes to prime crossover thrash with screams of “come on, come on, fists in the air” — with some amazing moshpit riffing and atmospheric soloing. Lest you think it’s all crowd-pleasing throw-your-hands-in-the-air groupthink, the next chant is a rousing “Jesus is dead.” The count-off of omens on “Evil Is Done” (“Omen 4/You fucking whore!”) is an awesome touch of occult pranksterism that sits perfectly with the ominous waves of guitar, buoyed along by galloping drums and several different rapid moodshifts, similar to the atonal but precise “Evildoers” break that is so totally classic Deicide. The whole thing just revels in that sinister but melodic vibe, where the devil has the best tunes and the biggest amps.

“Awakening” is probably the most powerful track on the album, taking the atmospheric chill of classic black metal and slowing it down to a more crunchy, death metal pace (a la Entombed circa Clandestine); it’s all tightly controlled menace. “Goatfather,” on the other hand, totally immerses itself in the more warlike and muscular black metal aesthetic of bands like Angelcorpse, Marduk, Absu and even Unleashed; it’s convincing stuff, love the Eastern-influenced guitar solo and long shuddering outro. “Unholy Death” starts out like prime Slayer before erupting into a storm of self mutilation and speedfreak destruction, a la Berzerker and early Mayhem. The mosh bridge is great, primitive, catchy as fuck stuff.

Wow, more blastbeats and wall-of-bleak guitar on “Etching Cleanser.” But just when you get disgruntled, they throw in a brilliant, robotic one-note guitar solo (a la Godflesh), or carelessly toss out a heavy riff that’s all classic Testament or Dark Angel and pretty much makes you drool. A little more progressive in terms of time changes, abstract shifts, thrash vs. death and false finishes. “Heartworm,” on the other hand, is just evil: Black metal, with a grindcore spine. It has an awesome sinister Pantera break, a just fucking killer chorus section. The future was clear right at this point. And then a nod to the past, with a thrash/hardcore chugga-chugga break that’s all minimalist. Think of this as a primer to the last twenty years of extreme metal all around the world in one goddamn song. A perfect parting shot.

Cadaver: www.cadaver.no • Candlelight Records: www.candlelightrecords.co.uk

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