Necropolis — Blueprint for Bedlam
((Not on label) no#, 1996, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01
Necro- [<Gr. nekros, a dead body] a combining form meaning death, corpse.
Get it? Well, before one writes these guys off as another worthless death metal band, the only thing here that's rotting and stinky is the cookie monster lead vocals of Sven Olaffsen. If one can get past that (a surmountable feat, though not easy), one will find a respectable and talented prog-metal outfit led by some names that should be very familiar to Exposé‚ readers: guitarist Keith More, probably better known for his work in Arena, and Steve Clarke, drummer extraordinaire of Conglomerate, Network and Groon. Rounding out the basic lineup is Alistair Mackintosh on bass. In fact Clarke brings a lot from his other bands into this project — during some of the instrumental stretches the sound approaches some of the more hard driving material on Network's Corroded Path. Guests include guitarists Steve Topping, Ian Aitkin, Bill Leisengang, and Tim Crowther, as well as Jan Hammer playing keys on one track. One of the album's highlights has to be the splendid three-part acoustic guitar piece "The Impending Death of Veronica Braithwaite" that accounts for the last half of the otherwise very aggressive ten minute title track. Another is the extended drum solo on the nine minute "W.N.C." All taken there are plenty of good moments on this album, it's just too bad they had to screw it up with this singer. Don't say you haven't been warned!
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