Regain Records 2009
It's about time that someone got around to pressing the two legendary demos and debut 7" of Swedish Satanic devotees Necrophobic onto disk. This release consists of the Slow Asphyxiation demo, Unholy Prophecies Demo, and The Calling 7". Up first is the earliest and rawest of the bunch. Even for its time Slow Asphyxiation already possessed a sinister aura that outshone its primitive production values. The riffing was thrashier and less brutal than what was later to come. After that came the monumental Unholy Prophecies demo whose sound typified the dark heaviness of the early Stockholm style. Their style on this demo lay somewhere between the meaty riffing of Grave and the morbid obscurity of Carnage. This demo and the Calling 7" also featured the session vocal highlights of Stefan Harrvik of fellow Swedish death metallers, Crematory. His voice was deep and guttural and they added a layer of power and brutality to the music. To this day his vocals remain my favorite of Necrophobic's long career. The unbelievably heavy riffing the title track call to mind deep and shadowy forests where Satanic rituals are hidden from prying eyes. Finally the 3 tracks of the Calling 7" close out this release. All three appear on The Nocturnal Silence album but they are less produced and as said before, Stefan's vile throat is a highlight. You can recognize the more melodic riffs starting to appear, especially on the Shadows of the Moon track. The Slayer-esque middle section on The Ancients Gate gives way to an episode of songwrtiing maturation which displays melodic riffs and clean guitar adding an element of ominous mysticism to their deadly assault. Necrophobic really had started to make a name for themselves with the last two releases and their record deal with Black Mark was well deserved. This demo release is mandatory and features the embryonic brutality of Necrophobic without all the blackened trappings of their future style. If you have ever been a fan of traditional Swedish death metal and/or like Necrophobic then this disk is essential.