Ever since their beginnings, Decapitated have been touted as the next big thing in extreme death metal.
Due to unforeseen misfortunes the band has never made it completely out of the underground. Last album Anticult took a slightly less technical direction in an attempt to help them over the lump, and it almost worked. What does this release hold under its blackened wings?
The cinematic intro From The Nothingness With Love blends seamlessly into the battering assault of the title track. Decapitated are back on immense form from the get-go, the hyper paced drumming and guitar histrionics are in fine form as they set about their attack.
Ensuring the pace doesn’t drop away, the aural abuse continues with Just a Cigarette and No Cure seeing them focus on both the physical intensity as well as their ability to stop on a dime and create a soundscape through beautiful solos and Vogg’s recognisable clean guitar tones, all before ripping the listener from the serenity with the reintroduction of a battery of drums.
The first real attempt at something a little different is the introduction of Jinjer’s vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk on Hello Death as her angelic clean vocals soar over a syncopated riff, later playing off against the broken glass throated roar of vocalist Rasta. This track begins the middle, more experimental part of the album. In quick succession the band blast through Iconoclast and Suicidal Space Program, both tracks taking a more thrash approach compared to the rest of the album, the former in particular with Robb Flynn lending his voice is more of a stomper than the more extreme death metal that has been on display to this point. This one just abuses the listener without building toward any atmospherics, neatly tied up with one of the maddest guitar solos on the album.
Locked is under a 90 seconds of the band reaching terminal velocity and maintaining it all before the ship breaks apart, the last track in the intense run that is the middle of the album, As Hours as Battlegrounds brings the noise back towards the band’s signature and at times experimental-feeling extremity. Closing in almost full circle Last Supper is one of those tracks that deserves to be better placed for fear of getting lost amongst the maelstrom and shows just how much faith the band has in this album, and so they should – it’s a fucking great blast.
Unrelenting at the same time as creating aural beauty is something few bands can do as well as this, and despite some small miss-steps from the band as they clamour for more attention, this album comes across as the perfect blend of where they have come from, and where they intend to go. Those hardened on the first unbeatable albums will still find something to complain about, but if straight up extreme metal with some frilly bits is your thing, bets are these guys invented the sound you currently enjoy. If you haven’t listened in a while, now is the time to get back into it.
1. From the Nothingness With Love
2. Cancer Culture
3. Just a Cigarette
4. No Cure
5. Hello Death
7. Suicidal Space Program
9. Hours as Battlegrounds
10. Last Supper