Although Necrodeath have been going since 1985 it was after they took a ten year break that I originally discovered them through their comeback album Mater Of All Evil. It was hardly surprising our paths would cross due to the fact that vocalist Flegias was in the original formation of Opera IX who I was rather infatuated with at the time. Although not a member of them now, he decamped along with original vocalist Cadaveria and is also active with her musically to this day. Last full album I heard by Necrodeath was 2011 release Idiosyncrasy and I remember not being particularly enamoured by it and found that they had drifted a bit from their original roots. The news of this one, celebrating their 33rd year and the age that Christ died suggested they had gone right back to them though, even resurrecting their original old school logo for the occasion. Well this sounded intriguing so I pressed play with anticipation and….. bosh!

Yep they done it alright as the first of 9 tracks (all beginning with the word ‘The’) ‘The Whore Of Salem’ bangs in like the lady is trying to set some sort of biblical gangbang record. A bloodthirsty scream flies out the speakers and ex Sadist drummer Peso batters away like a maniac. It slows down and guitar, melody and those wolverine sounding vocals allow the track to breathe. There’s something almost Teutonic about Flegias vocal delivery a bit of the old Destruction magic is here and with the song’s turbo charged chorus line and even a scorching guitar solo this delivers all the goods in its short running time. As far as that is concerned there is no screwing around here in the slightest, the album is a fiery exercise in brimstone with the tracks rattled off in just over the half hour mark. Songs like the scathing thrashy ‘The Master Of Mayhem’ takes me right back to when I first heard the band, none of this modern day party thrash here, just skin flaying riffs, brutal drumming and some metallic licks for those air guitar moments. A bit of old Slayer sound haunts ‘The Order of Baphomet’ maybe a touch of Kreator too. Unholy chants, squealing riffs, some odd echoing drum patterns it’s all there in well under the 3 minute mark. Forget any brevity by now you are probably going to wonder if your head is going to manage to stay on your shoulders for the duration as you bang along in fury.

Creepy killer stealth mode also suits perfectly as the slow sinister black gloves are put on for a sadistic session on ‘The Triumph Of Pain.’ Stalking along with some neat lush guitar melody this hits the mark even if it isn’t whipping up a storm. By complete contrast the most savage song may well be remembered by old listeners as like Christ, if you believe in fairy stories, ‘The Return Of The Undead’ is an old track brought back to life and goes like the clappers. It even has A.C. Wild of Bulldozer on it, Kvlt! As we dash towards the end crypts are raided, witches get violent revenge and the messiah is finally nailed to the cross and it’s all done with speed, killer harmonies and total power of conviction.

This is a release that’s perfect for Easter and unlike chocolate the only thing it will melt is your head. Banger!

(8/10 Pete Woods)