Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Necrophobic - The Call (1993)

Necrophobic formed in 1989 and soon released a string of demos. In early 1992, they entered Studio Sunlight to record their debut E.P. titled The Call. Though it was completed by February, it was not released until January 1993. By that time, the band had already replaced their vocalist, Stefan Harrvik. I believe this is also the first recording to feature Tobias Sidegård, as well. The sound is a little lower in quality than what is found on the Unholy Prophecies demo, from the previous year, being kind of similar to the first Dissection E.P. The sound is less clear, though the musical approach is much the same.

Side A begins with an instrumental, "Shadows of the Moon". This piece does well to display the eerie, nocturnal feeling produced by David Parland's guitar riffs. It is only a brief intro, but it sets the tone for the songs to come, quite well. This was supposed to be featured on the full-length, but some mistake prevented this.

"The Ancients Gate" is quite similar to the version found on The Nocturnal Silence, even including the chorus of demons at the beginning. The primary difference, of course, is that this sounds more raw and a little less polished. This is probably due to the production. This sounds pretty rough, considering it was handled by Tomas Skosgberg, in Studio Sunlight. However, the same brilliant guitar riffs and solos are still here. As the song slows down, mid-way through, the guitar melody truly epitomizes the spirit of the night.

Side B consists of a song called "Father of Creation". It begins with a slow and ominous sound, being very much in-line with the version that would appear on the L.P. The vocals seem to be buried in the mix, a bit, but increasing the volume proves to be an easy solution for this. Near the middle, there is a nice old school section where the drum beat and guitar riff both sound reminiscent of early Morbid Angel or even Mercyful Fate. The lead solo is very well done, putting most other Death Metal lead guitarists to shame. Too often, around this time, they threw in meangingless solos, as if it was someobligatory thing that had to be done. Many of them subscribed to the awful Reign In Blood method of solos. To contrast this, David Parland puts a lot of effort and feeling into the solo work here, adding greatly to the atmosphere of the song.

The Call is a solid effort, despite the very rough sound. This would be improved upon, tenfold, on The Nocturnal Silence. As the songs are not very different from those version that made it to the full-length, this isn't an essential release. However, it is of interest for die-hard Necrophobic fans.