For my first review, I wanted to start off with a band I am totally not familiar with. I chose Necronomicon for their name, which refers to a fictional grimoire from the stories of H. P. Lovecraft, thus I was expecting something with a cult-related theme. To provide a little background information, Necronomicon has been around for over 30 years and has literally stood the test of time that has been the death sentence for many bands in the past. The band emerged in a time when the teutonic 4 first made their appearances, but has always been in their shadow, due to legal problems with their initial record label. Despite the considerably smaller fan-base compared to similar bands, such as Destruction, the band managed to survive and is still producing new tunes!
Personally, I am a fan of German thrash, or as some would call it: teutonic thrash. Officially, Necronomicon is labeled as a member of this genre, however, I noticed some major differences, but there were also similarities and noticeable influences. First and foremost difference from regular thrash is the diversity of styles that this album presents: their riffs constantly reminded me of several big bands that originate from roughly the same era. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, even Megadeth were names that came to mind a lot when listening to the wide variety of riffs. Some of them will blow your mind and stick around; some of them will not sound very original or renewing, especially if you listen to a lot of 80’s metal. Nevertheless, you don’t have to be an expert to hear that they produced this album with the highest degree of care and integrity.
There were also parts of songs that puts the band right beside their colleagues from Kreator, Destruction and Sodom, such as the powerful, yet raspy vocals provided by singer Freddy, but to be honest, the majority of the album offers a mix of power metal, speed metal and heavy metal, so if you’re looking for violence and bloodshed as your main theme, I advise you to look further, because you might just be disappointed.
This album will be a definite success to fans of bands such as Maiden, Priest, and pretty much anything under the same style. But do not be fooled! Necronomicon are still most certainly German thrashers. My personal opinion: Pathfinder…Between Heaven and Hell features 70 minutes (7 minutes average per track!) of sounds that will take you back to the golden age of metal!