If the band and album name seem familiar that is because this disc is a re-release of the Ohio band's debut of some eleven years ago. Even if this is not new music, our dead-munching friends here are indeed back and ready to release a new album later this year. In the meanwhile, this is some very primitive heavy/death metal which has managed to maintain a reputation for the last several years. It is what you should expect from a 1987 Combat or New Renaissance release and as such may appeal to the purveyors of retro underground. At the very least, now that this is out and available again we will be able to really gauge the popularity of Season Of The Dead as reflected in its sales figures. - Ali "The Metallian"

Legendary underground death metal unit Necrophagia (i.e. band leader Frank Killjoy and his vomiting larynx) is back onto the scene with fresh material and if we weren't told otherwise, it would be easy to accept that these riffs are twelve-years old. Yes, this is not juvenile metal a la Pantera (wink wink) or Machine Head. This is the genuine article. Based upon and inspired by the work of director and writer Lucio Fulci (Zombie series, Four Gunmen Of The Apocalypse, Black Cat, etc.), Holocausto De La Morte bleeds eight tracks of gore metal via songs like Blood Freak, Embalmed Yet I Breath and Burning Moon Sickness. Heaven knows the scene needs something like this. This material is quality underground goredeathrash reminiscent of the days when the underground was for real. This might sound like a mixture of Master, Possessed and even early Voivod (listen to The Cross Burns Black's progressive riff), but Necrophagia simply rekindles a once-exulted genre which has long since died. Like the zombies worshipped by the band, the dead are not permanently gone; just banished to the underground awaiting their moment of return. The more one listens to this, the more one like the feel and with the added bonus of a powerful sound and Red Stream's lavish design, Holocausto... might just be this year's best barometre for the separation of the metaller from the poseur. - Ali "The Metallian"

Funny how this originator of gore/ death metal just keeps getting better. Funnier how after years and years of dwelling in the cellar of the underground scene, with nary a hope to sell any albums Killjoy just keeps marching on preaching the gospel of blood and horror metal. This latest outing being a mere MCD digipak, the music resumes where last year's Holocausto de la Morte left off with horror clips, ravaging riffs and puking vocals like no one attempts any longer. In their minds, these guys live on the set of the Night of the Living Dead and that really is the best description of where from the music is coming. - Ali "The Metallian"

The Divine Art Of Torture is also the divine art of effective riffing. Veteran American band Necrophagia, that is Frank Killjoy and his increasingly international cohorts, have outdone themselves with a grindingly brutal album that throws one potent chord after the other. Not only that, the guitars have been tuned down to the point of sounding like Dismember circa Casket Garden. In Fact the guitars come quite close to Swedeath territory. Further on the musical front, Necrophagia delivers a swift, raw and bloody blow to the head. The powerful proceedings are augmented by a mixture of growling and shrieking vocals which are the perfect fit for a gore metal band. Only song number four, Main Attraction, has a short and melodious riff. The rest of the album is gore metal supreme with the odd horror movie sample or eerie synthesizer meant to enhance the horrific effect. One final note pertains to the cover art. The promotional CD has shipped with a plain cover, but the actual CD photos elsewhere depict a title and concept-fitting horror theme. All in all, The Divine Art Of Torture is true to its name and an album that is bound to satisfy fans of the heaviest of heavy metal. This is true gore metal. - Ali "The Metallian"

Nothing says 'cheesy death metal' like a Necrophagia DVD and the most recent one is not going to scrape the fondue off the ceiling either. Whether Killjoy and his undead disciples see the humour in their work is a good question, because on face value they are quite serious about slashing mannequins, handling cows' hearts and livers, the fake blood running down girls' breasts and desecrating models' bodies. Yes, this is more horror film than a music video. In fact, this is a multinational production with footage from the USA, Brazil and Canada. Acting out their fetishes for splatter horror is clearly a labour of love for these guys, but it is true nonetheless that the outcome is hardly realistic and as a viewer one has to either laugh or be offended because being convinced is not an option. Yes, of course everyone knows this is all make-believe, but if they are not going to at least make it believable then perhaps the least they can try to do is spare us from the shots of fat guys shuffling nude in bathrooms. - Anna Tergel

The World, The Flesh, The Devil intro and Dead Skin Slave get this pounding gore, horror movie influenced album under way. Synthesizer passages in Unearthed make this, and the other songs that follow it, a collection of songs based on a horror theme. Cadavera X, very much like the previous songs, alternates between mid-tempo riffing and horror movie inspired passages. An amusing and funny intro follows with a radio DJ from 'FM 666, the station with real guts' introducing the band and the song as 'the bastard children of horror and gore' with their new crypt single London 13 Demon Street.’ The song comes complete with a female narrator and also a solo somehow befitting it. Return To Texas continues the gore and horror concept with a slightly faster tempo. Akumu is a very dark gothic sounding two minute intermission more akin to something out of '70s Pink Floyd! Stitch Her Further gets the album back on track and provides more for the thirsty masses. Excommunicated follows and contains more movie samples. The title track closes Volume I, sounding much like South Of Heaven and Reign In Blood at times, and does help to make this release worth a listen.
Definitely plenty of blood for gore fans, over 47 minutes of it in fact, and all done so the effects don’t completely overshadow the music itself. - Anna Tergel