Release year: 2020
Label: Xtreem Records
Necropsy are one of the often overlooked chapters of Finnish death metal, one of those bands there’s a big chance you don’t know unless you’ve really done some digging into the scene. The reason for this is pretty simple: though formed originally in 1987 and operating under the current name since 1989, they didn’t release their first album until 2011. The band originally split up in 1994, before which they had released only demos, one split and one EP. So you’re excused if Necropsy have flown under your radar thus far.
Since their debut, the band have released another album in 2015 and one EP, so even after the reformation, they haven’t exactly saturated the market with material. And, it seems to me, despite also having a compilation of their demos released on Century Media in 2013, they still remain a rather niché name, a footnote in the annals of Finnish death metal.
During their career, Necropsy have tried on a lot of different pants. By which I mean, their musical guise has seen many incarnations: in the pre-Necropsy days the band played thrash metal, morphing into classic old school Finnish death metal when the current name was settled on, and then evolving into a far more technical style before splitting up. The overtly technical guise was shed in the reunion, and now, on Exitus, the band have slowed down considerably and approach an even doomy style.
Before you wet your pants, I feel the need to point out that Exitus isn’t classic doomy death metal in the old school vein really. I mean, this ain’t no old Rippikoulu or whatever. What Exitus more brings to mind are modern purveyors of doom-laden deathly metal a’la Swallow The Sun and that lot – minus the tragic, melancholic melodies. In fact, at times Necropsy’s new approach comes across as missing something important in the absence of strong lead melodies.
Exitus isn’t by any means hopeless, though. It feels kind of straightforward and stripped down, which has its own charm. This reduced nature of the songs is at the same time the biggest strength and the most glaring flaw of Exitus – when Necropsy manage to get it working, it sounds pretty good, but sadly, too much of the time they fall a bit short. Despite this uneven nature, when the band do increase the tempo on closing song Butcherado, the result is weaker than the rest of the mini-album.
Exitus is a decent release by an old dog trying to learn new tricks. There are enough moments when things work out to not dismiss this as pointless, but also too much that doesn’t work out to lavish praise on Exitus. Sadly, at the end of the day, the scales do tip more towards the negative than the positive, even if not overwhelmingly so.
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