Necropanther are not your average extreme metal band, at least not by 2019’s standards. It seems that nowadays every metal blog and outlet is focused more on the bleak likes of black, death and doom metal, but Necropanther stand out by taking a few steps back instead. Theirs is a blend of Skeletonwitch thrash meets Dethklok’s melodic death with a modern sheen and dystopian lyrical theme. While not groundbreaking per se, it feels refreshing in a world that seems to lean heavily towards dismal “kvlt” metal.
What immediately sticks out about Necropanther’s third LP, The Doomed City, is just how much it rips. It’s an old school attitude, that youthful tendency to reject slow builds and feigned maturity in favour of wild aggression. Opener ‘Renew’ wastes little time before dealing out a rapid-fire selection of catchy riffs and spitfire drum work while Paul Anop’s sickly snarl leads the way. The songs all tend to be tightly knit; three-minute bursts that leave little room for filler but plenty of time for every member to have a little time in the spotlight. The guitar work is the most notable feature on the first few listens. The riff work runs the gamut from manic speed metal runs to catchy melodeath rhythms to black metal tremolos. The lead work is especially fun, whether it’s the shredding solo in ‘The Thinker’ or the harmonised melody that sets of ‘Parricide-Genocide’.
Necropanther can vary things up a bit, as evidenced by some moodier intros like on ‘Tiger’ or the title track, but they’re very much a “riff first and ask questions later” type of band. The songs on The Doomed City are concise and visceral, managing to avoid virtually any filler from start to finish. It’s not an album to find great poignancy, but it’s sure to get heads banging quickly. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed.
The Doomed City is out 15th November and can be purchased here
Words: Brett Tharp