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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Necro

Prefix For Death

Review by Gary Hill

There are certainly two sides to be looked at on this CD, the music and the lyrics. Necro bills his music as "Death Rap", and as such comparisons, lyrically to death metal mean that these raps are definitely extreme, and certainly not for those easily (or perhaps not so easily) offended. Since the music is easier to address, though, I will touch on that first. I know that as a progressive rock journalist and fan there are those who would like to say that there are types of music I shouldn't like (metal and rap are two that come to mind). Frankly, while prog rock is my first love when it comes to music, I really enjoy heavy metal and a lot of rap. Like all musical forms there is good and bad to be had in them, and I don't think any type of music should be thrown out in one blanket statement as good or bad. The music created here is actually very solid and potent rap. I don't like every song a lot, but there are some that I do like very much. There are others that are weaker, but I wouldn't say that any are musically "bad" - granted a few are not really music, so exempt from that statement. The truth is, musically this one will hold up with the best of them, and stands heads above a lot of others. It mixes metal and rap at times (not something that has never been done before, but it hasn't been done a lot). This works pretty well here. In fact there are guest appearance by such metal notables as Jamey Jasta and Sean Martin from Hatebreed, DJ Sid Wilson of Slipknot, Trevor Peres and John Tardy (both from Obituary), Away (Voivod) and Dan Lilker (Brutal Truth, Stormtroopers of Death and Nuclear Assault). The result is a rap album with large doses of metal that is quite entertaining and varied enough to keep it from getting old.

Now for the lyrical content - this one is probably going to be the biggest bone of contention facing this disc. Frankly the vast majority of the raps here glorify such horrifying topics as serial killings and cannibalism. That won't sit well with many. If I thought that this was meant to cause people to take up these activities as some new way of life, or even that Necro himself practiced these acts, I would not be reviewing the disc here. I see these lyrics in the same way that I see death metal - entertainment. I don't believe that people listening to this music are any more likely to go out and commit gruesome crimes than people who watch horror films. It is simply another form of dark entertainment. The situation goes deeper than, that, though. Even if it does have that effect, the truth is that the first amendment allows such speech, and it has to do so. In order to protect your own rights to speak about your religion or political views, you have to protect the speech of others, even when you find that speech offensive. It is when the speech is turned to action that the law has been broken.

Well, now that I get to step down from the soapbox, I have to say that I enjoy the CD. The lyrics don't always sit well with me, but at points they really make you think about some hypocritical situations in our society. At other points they just get you to ask why is that? For instance one fact brought up is that the United States with 5% of the world's population produces 76% of all serial killers. Why is that? Some of this is very thought provoking. This disc is certainly not for everyone, but it is quite good. As with most rap, children are strongly advised away from this music.

Track by Track Review
Intro
This is a clip of a question and answer with Charles Manson.
Beautiful Music for You to Die To
This is a slow tempoed rap with a great feel. Necro throws down some killer rhymes on this one - literally. This is definitely homicidal rap. I love the cool segment later on with electronically based textures that serves as an outro - very cool. 
Dispensation of Life and Death
This starts with another quote from Manson with keys to create texture. The track has an almost cheery musical sound with death lyrics forming an interesting contrast. Other sound bites come in later including Manson and Bush. The mood again is awesome. 
Kill That Sh*t
Horror film type music forms the backdrop to this freaky rap. I don't like this as much as the previous tracks.
Pre-Fix (Skit)
This is an acapella gospel type female vocal singing the praises of Necro and his label.
Pre-Fix for Death
A cool bass line, horror movie keys and metallic guitar create a psychotic backdrop for this cool rap. The lyrics are less harsh than the previous cuts, but still maintains their edge. This is sort of an autobiography of Necro. It drops to an almost twisted prog psychedelia section later that even feels a little like King Crimson. This serves as the outro.
Push It to the Limit
A Dixieland jazz sort of feel permeates this cut. A lot of this rap is screamed.
Reflection of Children Coming Up in the Grave
This one is pretty weird, but pretty cool. It is based on a pretty harpsichord melody, but the rhymes are brutal. A female sound loop is repeated several times.
"It" (Skit)
This is a sound bite from Silence of the Lambs with creepy music laid in for good effect.
Insaneology
This one is a crunchy thrash metal number. Necro raps over top of the chorus. This one is heavy and pretty cool. It includes a break that drops down to creepy keys and Necro raps over top of a psychotic guitar riff. This is a very heavy and dark stomper that is nicely dark and strange. 
Nirvana
Weird harpsichord and more sound clips from a '70's film start this. The music that forms the backdrop feels like it comes from the film "Omega Man".
86 Measures of Game:
This starts with a funny clip of an interview with Gene Simmons (I think) and an NPR correspondent who I believe is Terry Gross. The rap is a pretty filthy one based on an old school jazzy rhythm. More sound clips end this.
Empowered
Another metallic one, this one has a more plodding crunch. It includes a death metal vocal break. It also features a tasty guitar solo.
Kid Joe (Skit)
This is a trashed out acapella rap.
Human Consumption
Starting with a monologue about cannibalism, weird psychotic music comes in to make the backdrop for this rap. It includes a lot of sound bites - if you pardon the pun. 
Evil Sh*t
Cheery church sounding music starts this to form the backdrop of this rap. 
You Did It
This starts with a section of Billy Joel's "The Fire Is Burning", but quickly shifts to a creepy backdrop for the rap. Sound clips are included in this one.
Rogue (Skit)
This is another clip from "Silence of the Lambs".
Death Rap
An old school R & B groove forms the backdrop of this rap.
Watch Your Back
Bass guitar feeling like Black Sabbath starts this, then metal guitar comes in to make up the rest of the soundscape to this rap.
Food For Thought
This one feels like a '70's movie soundtrack.
Important Statistics
A monologue about serial killers is accompanied by creepy atmospheric music.
Senseless Violence
A female R & B singer belts out a chorus to starts this number. The rap pumps in, and the chorus serves to punctuate it.
Push It To the Limit
This is a super heavy and aggressive metal based cut. It's quite solid.
Outro
The disc ends with another clip from Charles Manson.
 
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