Anticult is Decapitated’s seventh full length and by their own admission, the band have added elements of thrash, black metal and atmospheric parts to their sound.
This is first evident in opener ‘Impulse’ which begins with atmosphere before giving way to a black metal-influenced passage that reoccurs throughout. Rafał Piotrowski’s clearly enunciated vocals and traditional death metal passages otherwise anchor the track to the atmosphere. A blistering melodic lead from Vogg is also a highlight towards the conclusion. Clocking in at a shade over six minutes, ‘Impulse’ is tied for the longest track on the album, and it provides a great insight into Decapitated’s inclusive approach on Anticult.
‘Deathvaluation’ kicks in, featuring more of that shift towards melody and atmosphere until the vocals first appear, yielding to an almost typical death metal approach until a punishing groove is revealed in its place. This track is another example of Decapitated’s altered approach. The groove works well in combination with the increased reliance on atmosphere, when another solid lead comes out of nowhere.
‘Kill the Cult’ begins at a frantic pace, sounding not unlike earlier Decapitated, until those atmospheric parts make another welcome appearance. There’s an almost black metal-like approach to this track, even throughout the soaring lead that fills out the middle. There’s an urgency, as Rafał spits out the lyrics that deal with the ‘destructive qualities of humanity’.
‘One Eyed Nation’ begins with a sweeping instrumental section that then becomes the anchor. Black metal passages vie with elements of both thrash and rock ‘n’ roll to create one quite interesting groove. It’s interesting how they’ve effectively created it without relying on ‘traditional’ groove structures. A brief atmospheric interlude appears to herald another welcome lead passage. Vogg’s leads on this album feel quite thought out, one link that ties this album to classic Decapitated. Fresh, but familiar all the same.
‘Anger Line’ begins with an interesting drum roll into an almost death ‘n’ roll swagger, that depends quite heavily on the drums, allowing Michał Łysejko ample room to display his talents. He works well in cooperation with the foundation provided by Vogg’s jagged guitar figures and Hubert Więcek’s solid bass fills. ‘Earth Scar’ seems to be an exercise in adding yet more layers, and it works to fine effect here; adding another skilled lead and capable drumming to see the track out. ‘Never’ soon reveals itself to have all the hallmarks of classic Decapitated, Vogg’s angular riffing shines here, culminating in another brief but memorable lead passage; ending in a furious salvo.
Save for Rafał briefly screaming the album title, album closer ‘Amen’ is a short, concise instrumental that brings the album to a fitting close. Anticult sees Decapitated change their approach to something that perhaps reflects their own eclecticism as musicians. If they continue on this path, they might become one of the most unique death metal bands in recent memory.
3. Kill the Cult
4. One Eyed Nation
5. Anger Line
6. Earth Scar