For those not in the know, Lock Up is a sporadic side-project rooted in grind/death sonics and this, their third album and first since 2002's 'Hate Breeds Suffering', has been a rather long-time coming. Originally featuring extreme metal luminaries Nicholas Barker of Cradle of Filth/Dimmu Borgir fame, Napalm Death's Shane Embury and Jesse Pintado, and Hypocrisy/PAIN main-man Peter Tägtgren, 'Necropolis Transparent' retains the rhythm section of Barker/Embury with the addition of Pentagram/Criminal's guitarist Anton Reisenegger (who replaced Pintado after his untimely death in 2006), and At The Gates' Tomas Lindberg (who came into the fold for Lock Up's sophomore album). As if such a lineup of esteemed metal pedigree wasn't enough, Carcass' Jeff Walker and Tägtgren also provide guest vocals on particular tracks, and with the latter describing the finished product by declaring "this album will tear you a new asshole!", expectations are generally high. And the strong calibre of personnel involved most certainly do not disappoint. Getting straight down to business from the off, 'Brethren of the Pentagram' blasts forth with a thunderously heavy assault on the ears as all instruments plus Lindberg's death growls open fire on the first beat of the first bar of music as a snare beat sets them into action as if a starting pistol prompting a series of runners to sprint for their lives. And sprint Lock Up do for the best part of forty minutes with only instrumental closing track 'Tartarus' winding down the pace. Apart from occasional passages with a mid-tempo groove, 'Necropolis Transparent' is a relentless exercise in death-grind ferocity throughout, and executed with breathtaking precision. And breathtaking is perhaps an apposite word to use here as each of the tracks allow little breathing time, rather this is no-nonsense, unpretentious, in-your-face extremity of mammoth proportions. Well, perhaps not mammoth in terms of song lengths as the average track duration is only around two and a half minutes, but definitely in terms of sound (aided by a great mix at the hands of Andy Sneap). This is intended to be succinct, hard-hitting music that will, to borrow from Tägtgren, "tear you a new asshole!". Ever wondered what it'd be like to have an extra asshole? Buy 'Necropolis Transparent', spin it, and find out for yourself.
Review by Mark Holmes
1st July 2011
1) Brethren of the Pentagram
2) Accelerated Mutation
3) The Embodiment of Paradox and Chaos
4) Necropolis Transparent; 5) Parasite Drama
6) Anvil of Flesh; 7) Rage Incarnate Reborn
8) Unseen Enemy; 9) Stygian Reverberations
10) Life of Devastation
11) Roar of a Thousand Throats
12) Infiltrate and Destroy; 13) Discharge the Fear
14) Vomiting Evil
15) Through the Eyes of My Shadow Self
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a relentless exercise in death-grind ferocity throughout, and executed with breathtaking precision."