The Finnish death metal-trio Necrolepsy is back. This is the band's second official release, the first one being the "Rot in Piss"-demo from 2010.

Much to my surprise, "Deathnoise" sounds pretty different from its predecessor. The songs are overall shorter and faster, and their sleazier groove-moments give a deep bow towards Autopsy and Abscess. They have a good, strong drive, and their natural changes from blasting to slow and sludgy parts make sure that even those with a short attention span can easily keep track of 'em. The guitar and bass are similarly "entangled" as on the debut demo, but some discordant leads and the lively-yet-primitive drumming give the songs a surprising amount of depth. The few horror movie-samples were an excellent add, too.

The tape's name is pretty much spot on: the soundscape is really lo-fi, unlike on the bassy first demo. The cymbals sound as if they'd shatter when they're hit, and the string instruments and vocals have a coating of grainy hiss that crackles and breaks here and there. It might be too much even for some of the oldschool metal-boneheads, but I found it to my liking. It gives the songs a lot of character and life, and allows them to reveal the good riffs and fills despite its harsh qualities.

I couldn't stop drooling when I first saw the cover artwork; a mash-up of zombies and skeletons with a dirty logo and the tape's name is just what a tape like this needs. The minimalistic design is spot-on otherwise too, fitting the band's oldschool concept perfectly. No lyrics are included, but looking at the track titles, I don't know how necessary they would've been anyway.

The tape is short, but it's hard to complain about it when the whole length is of such consistently high quality. Necrolepsy simplified their expression for "Deathnoise," and it worked splendidly. It's not the most original creation, that's for sure, but has a well enough personal character with a relentless attitude to conceal the lack of originality.

Based on this tape, the band might already be capable of crafting a killer full-length if they'd set their mind to it.

4 / 5