"Deathtrip 69"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Time marches on and what once was shockingly heavy and blood-dripping is now de rigeur. That's the hard message for Necrophagia, a legendary band in the death metal underground. Led by the macabre Killjoy, these guys were one of the first really "sick' death metal bands to be obsessed with gory horror. After a considerable absence, they return to the fold with "Deathtrip 69" find a landscape quite a bit different than the early 90's or even early 2000's.

This is an entertaining album but no blockbuster. Without Killjoy's seriously diseased vocals, I'm not sure if I'd remember it in a month. Many, many bands are now plumbing depths of heaviness undreamed of by Necrophagia. I offer the latest albums from Ilsa and Dragged Into Sunlight as proof. "Deathtrip 69" has a nice clean sound compared to the filthier examples of modern death metal like those mentioned above and I'm not sure that creates a horror atmosphere. Not to say that this record is lacking, it's just I don't see where Necrophagia's legend status applies. It's basic death metal with a few nice melodic touches like a haunting ballad "Funeral for Solange" and a disturbing Manson Family singalong "Death Valley 69".

Manson is kind of a tired subject for me and done to death. Nothing new there. As far as enjoyable tracks go, I really liked the thrashy "Kyra" and atmospherically heavy "Tomb With A View".  But there's nothing indispensable about "Deathtrip 69".