Clearly a welcome return for the all-star outfit
It’s hard to believe that its taken more than six years since we last heard anything new from the all-star grindcore/death metal U.K. outfit Lock Up - namely 2005’s Japanese only live release Play Fast or Die - Live in Japan.
But after a lengthy hiatus, Swedish vocalist Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates/Disfear/The Great Deceiver), Chilean guitarist Anton Reisenegger (Criminal/Inner Sanctum; who joined the group in 2009 after Jesse Pintado’s death in August 2006), bassist Shane Embury (Napalm Death/Venomous Concept/Brujeria), drummer Nicholas Barker (ex-Cradle of Filth/Dimmu Borgir) once again regrouped, and over the last two years, have been working on the band’s long awaited follow-up to 2002’s masterpiece Hate Breeds Suffering.
Despite the years between albums, and the change of guitarists within the line-up, Lock Up’s third release Necropolis Transparent picks up where they last left things, with the album unashamedly forsaking experimentation in favour of delivering an old school sounding mix of grindcore and death metal that is designed purely to crush and destroy everything in its path.
Comprised of 16 tracks, and clocking in at just over 41 minutes, Lock Up don’t waste time in getting straight down to business with the fast paced blast of Brethren of the Pentagram. Boasting plenty of razor sharp riffing, a huge bass sound underpinning the guitars riffs, relentless blast beats on the drum front and a ravaged and biting presence out from Lindberg, Lock Up aren’t exactly reinventing themselves on the two minute opening track. But what the band lack in innovation, they sure make up in heaviness, speed and inspiration, which is exactly what fans want from a new Lock Up album.
From here, the album virtually never lets up, with each ensuing track delivered with the same level of venom, and in the same breakneck speed. But despite this, Necropolis Transparent has enough variation from track to track to keep things from sounding too stale or repetitive.
In terms of highlights, there’s plenty to be found throughout the album. But those worthy of a special mention include The Embodiment of Paradox and Chaos (one of the many tracks to feature a guest appearance from Carcass front man Jeff Walker on backing vocals), the grooving mid-paced Parasite Drama, Rage Incarnate Reborn, Life of Devastation (which originally appeared on the band’s split E.P. effort with Misery Index earlier in the year), the Slayer-like Infiltrate and Destroy, Through the Eyes of My Shadow Self (featuring original vocalist/Hypocrisy/Pain front man Peter Tägtgren on backing vocals) and the closing instrumental Tartarus (which sounds reminiscent of Napalm Death’s Weltschmerz on 2006’s Smear Campaign).
There have been a lot of years between releases for Lock Up, but you wouldn’t know it by the sound of Necropolis Transparent, as the band sounds just as potent and intense as they did a decade ago on their debut. And really, who would expect anything less given the strength of their two earlier efforts, and from the names of those involved within the band.
(Nuclear Blast Records/Riot! Entertainment/Warner Music Australia)