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Tuesday, July 04, 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Decapitated tip a nod to their influences and stick the middle finger to the doubters on Anticult

It's always strange when a band starts sounding like those they influenced. It happened with Machine Head. It's arguably happened with Sepultura whose latest offering would fit more comfortably alongside Soulfly's back catalogue than their own and it seems to be happening to Decapitated.

Keeping everyone happy in the wake of the much maligned 'Blood Mantra' was going to be no mean feat but thankfully it doesn't seem to have been on the agenda for the Polish (ex?) death metal titans.

Opener 'Impulse' starts with the standard clich├ęd clean intro that seems to be plaguing so many modern metal releases. From there it rips through a whole host of influences that make repeated appearances on the album such as Pantera, Strapping Young Lad and maybe even some modern American hardcore.

'Deathvaluation' would sit perfectly on any of the last three Lamb Of God records with its ridiculous, over the top groove while 'Kill The Cult' bursts out of the gates with a solid double kick section from Michal Lysejko that is exactly what any long haired metalhead grew their locks for in the first place. Some very tasty lead work from Vogg helps keep this as one of the more memorable tracks on the album.

'One Eyed Nation' brings us into more familiar Decapitated territory with its flat out blasts and almost Meshuggah-like rhythms and is a welcome break to the NWOAHM style grooves we've been treated to up to this point.

'Anger Line' also gives one of the more classic death metal sounding sections of the album in its introduction but has some great open sections that really allow Rafal Piotrowski to stretch those vocal chords.

'Earth Scar' delivers a solid, pummelling slab of modern sounding heftiness before drifting into territory not dissimilar to local hardcore heroes By Any Means (cheque in the post) in the bridge and 'Never' delivers a great mix of that Gothenburg sound mixed with the upbeat Americanised metal sounds explored so frequently on this release.

Closer 'Amen' would be the only real piece of filler on the album which just serves to slow the pace down after such a consistently flat out album. Even at that, it's not bad but just seems a tad unnecessary.

All in all this doesn't make for a bad album. It wears its influences on its sleeve and is unashamedly sticking the fingers up to the purists out there, even if at times it is a tad predictable and derivative. If you want 'Nihility' part 2 you'd do best to look elsewhere but if you want a high octane, heavier alternative to most of the bands name checked here then this will be right up your street.

Review by Steve Martin

Anticult is released on Nuclear Blast Records on 7th July

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