Review: “Singin’ in the Pain” by Necrodeath

A growing concern since 1984, Italian Blackened Thrash Metal act Necrodeath have been ploughing the fields and scattering the ashes of their victims with fourteen prior convictions in album form before “Singin’ in the Pain” was even a twinkling in their collective eyes or a migraine on their thoughts. Their first two albums in 1987’s “Into The Macabre” and 1989’s “Fragments Of Insanity” have long since reached legendary status helping shape the Italian Underground Metal scene, while 2006’s “100% Hell” spawned the huge hit “Master Of Morphine” as the band continued to demonstrate they have what it takes to cut it in the modern age. Searching for inspiration the band chose a concept based on the movie “A Clockwork Orange” by Stanley Kubrick for “Singin ‘in the Pain” envisaging it as a nine track magnum opus linked together by the narrating voice of Tony Dolan of Venom Inc and supported in the finale by the presence of Eric Forrest of E-Force (ex-Voivod)…

As a concept, much like Dante’s “Inferno” before it, “A Clockwork Orange” has been taken on previously, most notably by Brazilian Metal overlords Sepultura in 2009 with album “A-Lex” but here, the vision of Necrodeath is almost entirely different. A one way Blackened Thrash journey straight to hell, soaked in violence and immorality before an attempt at redemption and normality this re-telling of the tale begins with “Gang Fight” and adorned by classic Thrash riffs from Pier Gonella it’s a stone cold winner. The fist in the air chants of the add to the anthemic quality that will go down well at the live shows that accompany the release, while the eerie humming of “Singing in the Rain” introduces it in style. Tony Dolan of Venom Inc provides the narration that leads into the powerhouse that is “Transformer Treatment“, his moments kept purposefully short so as not to loose the energy or momentum and its a fine, high wire balancing act maintained throughout the album. Flegias vocals are at his trademark scalding finest while the soloing adds the stardust to give the album back to back undisrupted anthems. Slowing things down for the downright creepy “The Sweet Up and Down“, a psychotic moment that pushes the boundaries of what the band have been known for over the past four decades and works incredibly well. It helps build the atmosphere before the plunge into the demonic vocal performance of “Redemperdition” which begins with “Kill ’em All” era Metallica speed riffs before contorting into a more theatrical piece which holds the essence of the Necrodeath sound while bursting at the seems to escape the shackles with fire and fury.

The central point of the album returns to the Speed Thrash onslaught with “Delicious Milk Plus” giving an unhealthy dose of whammy bar action into a drop solo while Peso impresses from behind the kit. A longer an and more atmospheric cut that has Progressive Metal leanings towards the send with a second, longer and more drawn out solo it perhaps shows how far the band can stretch themselves for their art and the transition between the styles is as mesmerizingly slick as they come, a true testament to their musicianship. “655321” then gives us a classic Thrash anthem as the band dial down the darkness of the lyrical narrative but there is still a twist in the tail with a couple of short and intricate almost jazzy solos from Gonella that are laugh out loud fun. The quality shows no sign of being watered down with moments of Deathgrind leaning power in “The (In)sane Ultraviolence” that has some clever almost tribal fills from Peso, while Flegias gives us a backing vocal that sounds like Dave Mustaine is making a guest appearance in the style used on “Shadow Of Deth“. The irony of that is that “Oomny-Ones” actually sounds like it could be a Megadeth classic and could easily be retitled “Leader of violence“. It has hooks and sing-a-long lyrics for days and riffs for weeks. Last but not least “Anti-Hero” is quite literally the cherry on the cake, a powerhouse closer that has all the Thrash hallmarks of the golden age of the era and is simply put great fun but moreover it sounds like the band are having great fun themselves. A tour deforce of the Metal that touches on several key genres as it plays out, in “Singin’ in the Pain“, Necrodeath have created something that is timeless in its quality. The legend continues… [8/10]

Track Listing

  1. Gang Fight
  2. Transformer Treatment  (ft. S.B. Reder of Schizo)
  3. The Sweet Up and Down
  4. Redemperdition
  5. Delicious Milk Plus
  6. 655321
  7. The (In)sane Ultraviolence
  8. Oomny-Ones
  9. Anti-Hero

Singin’ in the Pain” by Necrodeath is out 28th November 2022 via Time To Kill Records with pre-orders available over at bandcamp.

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