NECROPHAGIST - EPITAPH (2004)
Germany's Necrophagist started as a one man project for Muhammed Suicmez. Presently, they still have but two albums: 1999's The Onset of Putrefaction and 2004's Epitaph which has a full band behind it. The words "Tech Death" were created for this band. They are ridiculously complex at times and for that reason, they have a fair amount of haters out there.
The important difference between Epitaph and a good majority of tech death albums is songwriting. These are intricate tunes, but they are stuffed with cool riffs and musical tricks. It doesn't sound like they're just showing off, they're playing cool tunes with a purpose. The guitars are absolutely impressive - disjointed phrases and broken melodies that somehow come together. These guys shred, and I mean, shred. The bass is pretty damn impressive too.
After two underwhelming tracks, Ignominious and Pale destroys everything. It is an amazing track with a sudden tempo change at the end that just blows me away every time. The title track, Seven, and Symbiotic in Theory are all stellar tracks. This is a fun album for me to dissect - there is so much going on, and most of it is simply kick ass. The only downside is that the vocals are rather boring - very monotonous and lazy. It's as if they wore themselves out writing the music and just said: "Oh yeah, it needs vocals. I'll do something real quick."
Almost 10 years after the release of Epitaph, and still no new Necrophagist album. It's become kind of a running joke with fans that there will be a new one any day now. At any rate, this is an incredible album and fans of technically impressive and well written metal should find something to get stoked on here. It gets a 4.5 out of 5.