Having discovered the Polish death metal monsters in late 2009 with Organic Hallucinosis, I was never extremely impressed with them until I (for some reason impulsively) pre-ordered Carnival is Forever. I listened to Carnival is Forever and then went back and listened to the rest of their discography that I had downloaded back in 2010 but had barely touched. The next couple of times I listened to their albums, I came to love them. Each time I listen to them, I like their music more (including this album).
I just realized a couple of seconds ago that starting with this album, Decapitated is strongly influenced by a certain Swedish band. If you’re curious as to what band this is, listen to the song Spheres of Madness. Until Carnival is Forever, Decapitated’s music strongly related to that of this huge Swedish band whose name I will not mention because you should be able to tell. If you like, you can post a comment on this review saying what band you think it is.
The bass in this album is so low that it’s still not much of anything when I turn up my subwoofer on my computer (talk about pathetic). I feel that the production part of the album was rushed and done lazily because the overall sound quality of the album is low compared to their well-received debut. I will expect that you don’t call me someone that judges an album on the quality of the production because my favorite black metal band is Xasthur. And I probably listen to more low-quality bands than you’ve even heard of.
The musicality of the album does show a lot of signs of progression and exploration of other genres. But the amount of focus and commitment seems to have decreased. Decapitated mainly owes their lack in focus to an increase in hard drug use after the release of Winds of Creation. This generally explains the really abstract lyrics and themes that don’t seem to have any point at all and the unorganized song structure. The members did increase their instrumental skill, but they didn’t increase their musical and creative abilities. I feel that it’s completely necessary to bring in inspiration and influence from other bands and mix it in with your music, but there’s a point to where there’s more influence and inspiration than originality. In other words, there’s less Decapitated and more of other bands’ sounds in their music. The music that Nihility puts out is actually pretty good, but I still find all of their other albums more enjoyable to listen to; mainly because there’s more Decapitated in those albums.
Making music original and unique is extremely difficult. When you actually get down to it, coming up with good music is very hard and frustrating. One of the things that make it easier is taking some qualities and sounds from other bands and mixing it together. Once you have that platform, it’s a lot easier to build up a song from there. But I think it’s very possible to have too much influence. An example would be: if there’s a lot more Psycroptic in your music than you, there’s a lack of originality. This is definitely obvious when you keep mistaking bands like Warbringer for Destruction, or if you keep getting Impaled and Carcass mixed up, or when you can’t tell the difference between Foreigner and Journey (I certainly can’t!).
Overall, the lack of creativity aside, this is actually a really good album and would deserve a much higher score if there was more Decapitated in it. After this album, Decapitated gets better and better over time as they get one of those random creativity boosts that keep them high in the sky to eventually become one of the biggest death metal acts of the 21st century. I would give this album 12/20.