Pim B. : Around the release of Necrophobic’s previous album there these Swedes were in a bit of turmoil. The guitar tandem of Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergebäck apparently had other priorities and weren’t part of the band anymore. Fredrik Folkare (Firespawn, Unleashed) took on the role as guitarist and composer and managed to make sure ’Womb Of Lilithu’ sounded (and still sounds) like a proper Necrophobic album. Also the situation around singer (and guitarist on that album) Tobias Sidegård was a bit messy. Although these were private matters he had to leave due to the impact on the band. Necrophobic just scored a deal with Season Of Mist, which should have given them a boost. Things were quite different as it became a bit silent around the band. The positive news was that the replacement of Sidegård was Anders Strokirk. He had been behind the microphone on the EP ‘The Call’ (1992) and the debut ‘The Nocturnal Silence’ (1993). Many still regard the debut as their best album, which is personal taste of course. I think the complete catalogue of Necrophobic is quite consistent.
I was a bit surprised when in 2017 a new song ‘Pesta’ was released, which was a taster for the new album. First of all because the 7” single was released by Century Media. Secondly because the duo Ramstedt/ Bergebäck had returned. Apparently the cooperation with Season Of Mist wasn’t all that fruitful and both guitarists missed their part in Necrophobic. By the way, this didn’t mean Fredrik Folkare completely disappeared. The new material was recorded in his Chrome Studios and he co-produced the new album.
The album opens in a vitriolic way with the title-track ‘Mark Of The Necrogram’. Basically the complete album has this fierce vibe. The guitar melodies are vicious and Strokirk’s vocals are a great asset. You could say this album seamlessly continues where ’Death To All’ ended. This doesn’t mean I am declassing ‘Womb Of Lilithu’ though. Necrophobic shows they belong to the top of the genre where death and black metal form a unity you can’t surpass. Fans of bands such as Dissection or Naglfar should dig Necrophobic too. In fact you should already be familiar with these guys as they are one of the originators of the genre. Even when they sound a bit more epic, like in ’Tsar Bomba’, which reminds me of God Dethroned, they show their class. This eighth full-length is a superhot record that fans of melodic black and death metal have to buy.