Total War (Necropolis)
by Scott Hefflon
Opening with “Satan,” you realize that War is so fuckin’ amazing, they get the joke. Like the five points of the pentagram, vocalist All (Vondur, Ophthalamia), guitarist It (Vondur, Abruptum, Ophthalamia), guitarist Blackmoon (ex-Dark Funeral), drummer Peter Tägtgren (The Abyss, Hypocrisy), and bassist Mikael Hedlund (Hypocrisy, The Abyss) create a power exponential to the sum of their parts. War is so mind-bogglingly evil and heavy, it’s almost impossible to describe without diminishing its force. Wow! To run through each song and point out the references would take almost as long as listening to it. Suffice it to say, these guys know so much about what they’re doing, it’s frightening. Aside from the obvious sonic impact, hearing tips of the hat to bands subtly worked in, then amplified tenfold is mind-blowing. Slayer, Pantera, and every major band is touched on in a way that’s downright sinister. Whether it be a word, a semi-familiar riff, or a production trick, War destroys everything they touch. Perhaps I’m reading too much into Total War, but I can’t help thinking that the total assimilation and destruction of all things heavy is intentional.