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Before heavy metal history became littered with bands named after the opportunistic book of fake spells and faux sorcery inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's works, these German thrashers were arguably the first Necronomicon, having formed in 1983 under the leadership of vocalist/guitarist Volker "Freddie" Fredrich, who would remain the group's only constant over the ensuing decades. Back at the beginning, Fredrich teamed up with Jürgen Weltin, bassist Lars Honeck, and drummer Axel Strickstrock for Necronomicon's first two albums: 1986's eponymous debut (which ironically showed four young men sporting punk-like Mohawks on its back cover, instead of more metallic mullets) and 1987's sophomore Apocalyptic Nightmare. Both of these featured a primitive brand of thrash reminiscent of Destruction's or Running Wild's efforts from a few years prior, therefore making them sound rather quaint for all but the most conservatively purist of thrash fans by then. And despite displaying a significant creative growth spurt on their third album, 1988's Escalation (recorded as a trio, minus Honeck), Necronomicon decided to call it quits when their record company went bust soon after. But the three former bandmates weren't able to stay away for long, and by 1994 had recruited a new bassist named Bernhard Matt to record a fourth album, entitled simply Screams, in what amounted to a short-lived reunion, noticed by only their most devoted supporters. However, Fredrich, Strickstrock, and assorted new bandmembers still decided to give it yet another go ten years later, and both 2004's Construction of Evil and 2008's Revenge of the Beast carried on finessing the band's sound with power metal melodies.
© Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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