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Decapitated | ‘Anticult’


Some producers just have ‘it’ – whatever ‘it’ is.

One of the best of these magicians is Daniel Bergstrand.

It comes down to this: when you’re a band in need of a defined, modern, puncturing shot, this is the guy you call.

Thus, very smart people have him on speed dial – and Decapitated are the latest band to whom he’s given what sounds like a new lease of life.

Identity Kit

We all know that the Polish wunderkinds have been fighting an ongoing struggle to update their sound. To add enough mainstream, Pantera-fied elements to attract Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall fans without moving too far from death metal to alienate their base.

It’s a testy but hardly impossible trick. And I think that if you can paper over some of those more obvious cracks, they’ve largely done it on “Anticult”.

In that regard it’s not to be analysed too seriously anymore, as we might have done with the sublime ‘Organic Hallucinosis’; it’s just to be enjoyed.

As a revivifying jolt of energy, it starts strong. ‘Impulse’ is very hard to resist. It sounds incredibly ‘them’, even as they update. Few death metal fans would blanch.

‘Deathvaluation’ is where the bigger aspirations come into play. It is hugely Dimebag inspired in the way the notes sling about, hang and bend on the low strings. Even the guitar production hankers after ‘Far Beyond Driven’.

That’s at the same time as tight and nippy as Soilwork toward the back. So this is a great mix.

Killest Drum Roll

I could do without the Machine Headisms of ‘Kill The Cult’ and its pretty safe 4/4 rollock – it’s straight out ‘Davidian’ in feel at the start – and it sort of betrays a naked populism that the first two managed to get away with without quite saying it.

‘One Eyed Nation’ is similar for a minute or two, before some ravishing blastbeats bring us firmly back to more familiar territory, even if vocally they now lean closer to Misery Index than anything guttural .

An absolutely spiffing, killest drum roll intro opens up the blasting of ‘Anger Line’, which again reiterates the album’s tougher credentials, in a way that you might expect God Dethroned to crack out one of their satisfying ditties.

Well Honed

Overall, yes, it’s confused sounding at times.

Other than just an incredibly technically adept and precision honed underground touring metal band, I’m not now sure exactly who Decapitated want to be these days. The tension is evident.

And I’d go so far to say it’s a bit of an identity crisis, similar to what In Flames have been drawing out for more years now, except that this is still way better than any of their modern lard. ‘Never’ for example is testament to a continued, darker creative impulse with a modern throb.

An identity crisis then, but a highly enjoyable one, for running to, a bit of a caffeine pump generally. The best tracks are blazing, and the rest of it is absolutely solid. The artwork however is risible, though Deicide would probably jump at it these days.

3.8 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 18/07/17



12 Comments
  1. Ah here.

  2. What?

  3. John Kimble Says:

    Christ, that is dull as fuck. I still have high regard for Organic Hallucinosis, even if it marks the point where Decapitated started to move away from Death Metal and towards a more groove oriented sound. I still think there’s a place for clinical, precise Death Metal but not at the expense of character or identity. If I didn’t know that was Decapitated there’s no way I’d have guessed it from that track. I’m sure it’s perfectly solid but why bother with such identikit releases when there’s so much good stuff vying for your attention.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Don´t worry CT, Pedactor just doesn´t think producers have an effect on the final sound of a record from what I can tell 🙂 Goes against the whole reasoning behind why every Death metal band wanted to record in Morrisound and countless other examples. I think a good producer can completely redefine a band´s sound if I´m honest.

  5. Roger Pedactor Says:

    Good man anonymous.

    Review is incredibly generous.

  6. Ollkiller Says:

    That song and another one I listened to are totally alien to the decapitated that I know and love. They’re just a pale imitation of the old days. I’ll just treat every album after organic like the matrix sequels in that they don’t exist.

  7. Ivan Drago Says:

    can you still call a bunch of lads in their 30s, twenty years and seven albums into their career “wunderkids”?

  8. Earl grey Says:

    The word is ‘wunderkind’ and means people who achieved precaucious success. Does that not apply?

  9. Black Shepherd Says:

    Identity crisis? With those vocals, the lyrics may as well be “We have zero identity!” barked ad infinitum in that carbon copy metalcore style.

  10. Carnival and Blood Mantra both worried me when they came out however after a few spins I think they really stand up against the older albums. The riffs are still in there and they are still killer. I was disappointed to see Krimh go, there seems to be a bit of creativity lacking behind the kit for the last two offerings.

  11. Duckydoodleface Says:

    Yeah it’s not bad at all and a lot of bands would give their Mams away to be that tight (and I think Vogg still pumps out some great riffs), but it’s a bit nondescript for sure.

    I do wonder what Decapitated would sound like today if they weren’t involved in that tragic accident (which happened almost 10 years ago, fuck).

  12. Tried to give this a go but the music just sounds so dumbed down compared to previous efforts. had to stick on Organic Hallucinosis to remind me of the better times

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