Necrophobic- Womb of Lilithu (Season of Mist)

One extra large order of blackened death metal...
Release Date: 
25 Oct 2013 (All day)

One of the biggest challenges in any band's recording career is coming up with a follow up to a successful record. With success comes the weight of expectation and with that added pressure, many fail to create a record that satisfactorily lives up to its predecessor. Just look to Machine Head's Unto the Locust or Testament's The Dark Roots of Earth for perfect examples of this.

Necrophobic has always been the dark horse of the Swedish black/death metal scene; having been around since 1989, yet never reacing the same popularity as the like of Unleashed or Dark Funeral, the band has managed to release a consistent string of good to strong releases and their last release, 2009's Death to All saw them hit a new high in quality (at least since the 90's). So you can understand my anticipation when earlier this year I discovered that a follow up album was going to be released.

My excitement was hightened when the band released the advance single Splendour Nigri Solis. The song was sharp and biting and the band sounded as furious as ever. In my mind I had every reason to believe that this album could be as strong, if not stronger, than Death to All. So when Womb of Lilithu arrived in my inbox, I quickly gave it a spin. What was my first impression of this much anticipated album? It was . . . ok.

Even after repeat listens, Womb of Lilithu failed to grow on me, which was odd because on paper all the elements for sucess were there. The band was firing on all cylinders with the kind of black/death/thrash attack you'd see from the likes of Unleashed and Absu, coupled with a few left of field twists and anthemic moments reminiscent of Behemoth. Songs like the previously mentioned Splendour Nigri Solis and Marquis Phenex are great to listen to as well. So where does it all fall apart and leave me feeling so non-pulsed?

Well, the major problem seems to be a case of some killer, too much filler. At about 66 minutes and 14 tracks, the album is far too long to sustain your attention and at around about track 11, I find myself completely losing focus. The band couls have cut out 3 or 4 songs and have wound up with a much stronger product. A little quality control could have gone a long way.

Womb of Lilithu may not be Necrophobic's strongest outing, but it's not necessarily a bad album either, just something for more die-hard fans. If you're new to the band, I recommend you start with Death to All or 1993's The Nocturnal Silence and give this album a go if you like what you hear.