Decapitated “Anticult” by Adam McCann
Nuclear Blast Records 2017
Decapitated lose their head a little early
Decapitated are one of the leading names in the Polish death metal scene and although tragedy has stalked the band throughout their career, the band have continued to do what they do best since their reincarnation in 2009. It has been 3 years since the last Decapitated album ‘Blood Mantra’ and based on its success, the latest album ‘Anticult’ was released on the 7th July through Nuclear Blast Records was highly anticipated.
What Decapitated have produced through ‘Anticult’ is a mature sounding death metal album, yes, you can bookend the career of Decapitated from the early sounding more technical death metal, to the more recent groove additions, but if you’re looking for the Decapitated of the past, then with ‘Anticult’ you won’t find it here. What ‘Anticult’ offers is straight up death metal propped up by groove metal style riffs more reminiscent of Lamb of God and this is evident from the off with ‘Impulse’.
‘Impulse’ offers the sort of initial sound that you would expect from the likes of Vader and guitarist Vogg has a tone that is brutal and meaty throughout before pulling out the drawn pinch harmonics more associated with Gojira. However, during the entirety of ‘Anticult’, it is the drummer Michał Łysejko who steals the show throughout with his powerhouse drumming, his blast beats and syncopated rhythms are the glue which holds ‘Anticult’ together.
Unfortunately, ‘Anticult’ peaks rather early with the best song on the album ‘Kill the Cult’. ‘Kill the Cult’ is easily the most memorable song on the album with its chorus imploring you to well, kill the cult and it is this simple chorus when coupled with a decent riff from Vogg and batted out of the park by Łysejko’s pounding drums which only serve to emphasise the impending nature of the lyrics. One thing to note of Decapitated of late is the continuing misanthropic view of the world and this can be attributed to vocalist Rafał Piotrowski. Since replacing Coven in 2009, Piotrowski has encircled Decapitated into his nihilistic and misanthropic view of the world with tracks like ‘Deathvaluation’, ‘One-Eyed Nation’ and ‘Earth Scar’, the latter of which beginning with Rammstein style electronic drumbeat before evolving into groove metal monster. ‘Earth Scar’ even has all the hallmarks of Lamb of God album track with its half time breakdown and rather anti-climactic guitar solo in which you expect Vogg to tear your face off, but instead delivers a lacklustre solo. However, the actual stand out part of ‘Earth Scar’ is the last 20 or so seconds in which Decapitated launch into a death metal tirade where you can smell the sweat and beer already from the pit.
Following on from ‘Blood Mantra’, ‘Anticult’ actually promised so much and spends far too much floundering and meandering about. There are parts of ‘Anticult’ in which not only the originality, but the identity of Decapitated has been lost, an example of this would be closing track of ‘Amen’. Unfortunately, ‘Amen’ sounds far too much like an Obituary guide track, it is slow, it is grinding and the only way to describe it is a guide track from Obituary’s latest album with ‘Amen’ sounds unfinished at best.
‘Anticult’ is a lot like losing your virginity, it fires hard, fast and peaks far too early with the rest of the album lying there wondering: ‘is that it?’, ‘Anticult’ is not great, but it is not poor either, there are some decent songs here but there are far better albums released this year. (70/100)
Adam McCann / MHF Magazine