"White Worm Cathedral"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Necrophagia is surely a cult metal band with long roots in the scene, but until this record, I never really "got" them before. Their last Manson-worshipping album "Deathtrip 69" left no lasting impression on me and blew away like dry leaves through a graveyard. But with "White Worm Cathedral", Killjoy DeSade and his horror horde have created something more memorable in all respects.

It's best not to think of Necrophagia as death metal any more. The sound here is very classically inspired mid-paced heavy metal with sick vocals and a macabre atmosphere to it. The atmosphere is the WHOLE point of the album....not to crush your skull or set a new speed record or create a technical whirlwind. The music is very heavy, but clean sounding and the riffs border on doom metal. The lyrics deal with such time-worn subjects as "Shock Waves", "Zombie" and H.P. Lovecraft, but so true and direct is the feeling in these songs that you can forgive the cliches. The addition of creepy analog keyboards, tubular bells and choirs immeasurably boosts the horror feel in songs like "Rat Witch" (where the bells add so much!), "Angel Blake" and "Fear The Priest". And Necrophagia's real weapon has always been Killjoy's sickening raspy vocals, which have never sounded better than this album.

I can see where those expecting typical murky death metal sickness might be disappointed with this. Their disappointment equals my enjoyment. This is Necrophagia's horror metal masterpiece, where they leave behind any allegiance to death and black metal to forge their own atmospheric and dread-filled path. After many years, I get it...and so do they, I think.