Necrophobic “In The Twilight Grey” Review

In The Twilight Grey
Century Media
Released: March 15, 2024


Sweden’s masters of nasty melodic black metal, Necrophobic, return with In The Twilight Grey

Now on their tenth full-length studio and over thirty years into their existence, Necrophobic have perhaps never sounded better. While the band have been resuscitated with the return of two key members, following a tumultuous period of inner turmoil – they have since gotten back on track and have stormed back to prominence.

Early recordings such as their debut record, The Nocturnal Silence (1993) and follow-up Darkside (1997) had put Necrophobic on the fast track to melodic black metal dominance, during a time where bands like Dissection, Naglfar and Dawn were also first breaking ground – but line-up fluctuations seemed to prevent the band from reaching their full potential at that time.

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As is the case with so many black metal bands, their history has been marred by all manor of strange occurrences, including the suicide of band founder David Parland (who also founded Dark Funeral and Infernal) in 2013 – although he was no longer a member of Necrophobic at the time. Part of the mysticism and draw of this genre of music, are the fables that run alongside it. Modern day folklore of sorts, and like a car crash, it is often hard to look away and not become adorned towards the tales.

The band has undergone more than its share of roster changes, but in 2016, with guitarists Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergeback back in the fold after a five-year hiatus, it was a self-evident career peak for all concerned. Not just the best sounding record of the band’s career, but one of the most monstrously dramatic and destructive records of the decade in Mark Of The Necrogram, it made the prospect of the next Necrophobic albums even more mouth-watering

Following that, was the remarkable Dawn Of The Damned (2020) which leads us to this new opus, In The Twilight Grey, and Ramstedt and Bergeback at this collective beastly best. They say it is never too late to achieve potential, and while most that stray never get back on track – with In The Twilight Grey, and including the two previous efforts that came before it, Necrophobic are finally finding their way.

There seems to be more and more early heavy metal style riff work seeping into the guitar work on Necrophobic, and while they still retain all the black metal and death metal elements that their previous recordings had, there seems to be more of an attempt to inject a classical metal component into the fold – and I’m all for it. While some of the arrangements instantly hit home, others needed repeated listens to properly sink in, and more and more, I found new things that I liked about the recording. Yes, this one might take some time before it is properly appreciated.

While the onus seems to be on crafting aggressive riffs, there is still a lot of melody to be found here – something that the band has always done well. The aforementioned nods back to the early days of metal start to stand out more and more with each listen and seem to dart back into the distance again as a more traditional black metal riff takes hold again. Sort of like a struggle for power more than a symbiosis. Some of the time changes fell a little odd, too, but never to the detriment of the recordings.

There is a rip roaring solo on that I really like, for example, that then flows into a strange tempo change that feels like falling off your bicycle into a sloppy mud puddle, before the song regains its footing and gallops along again. Luckily these nuances and few and far between.

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Still, this is a very solid effort from a band that have yet to really disappoint. There are signs of evolution within the tunes here, yet they also stay true to the roots of the band despite there being but one original member of the group still standing – drummer Joakim Sterner. Thus, the return of Ramstedt has been the rekindled flame that the band truly needed.

Physical media and digital copies of In The Twilight Grey are available to pre-order from the Century Media records bandcamp (digital) page and website (physical media) now.


For Fans Of: Dawn, Naglfar, Dissection
Track Listing:

01. Grace Of The Past
02. Clavis Inferni
03. As Stars Collide
04. Stormcrow
05. Shadows Of The Brightest Night
06. Mirrors Of A Thousand Lakes
07. Cast In Stone
08. Nordanvind
09. In The Twilight Grey
10. Ascension (Episode Four)



Author Rating

  • overall
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  • enjoyment
  • production
  • variety
  • memorability