My first Decapitated album was Organic Hallucinosis, which I don’t think is technical enough to be considered technical death. I got that album during the summer of 2009 and for the longest time, was the only album I had by them. That is, until January of 2010 when I saw that they had been signed on to Nuclear Blast. I guess I wasn’t quite fully aware of how big their fan base really was until I saw the hype they created by announcing the release of Carnival is Forever. A month or so after I saw them get signed onto Nuclear Blast I decided to get the rest of their discography. After listening to their other three albums, I guess I realized that technicality doesn’t always have to be in the guitars.
The majority of Decapitated’s technicality can be found in what the drummer does. Even though they’re technical enough for me to consider them a true tech death band, they’re probably the least technical band in the genre. I say this because there are traditional death metal, death grind, and brutal death bands that are more technical than Decapitated. Some of those bands include Dying Fetus, Death, Nile, early Cannibal Corpse, and some material by Abysmal Dawn. But yet when you ask the average Decapitated fan what genre they would put them as, they would say something like “DERP, tech death!”
But don’t get the impression that genre specification has anything to do with what I think of the band. Although I will admit that I have a soft-spot for technicality. I did hear someone say something that I feel has a lot of truth, he said “a good band is not defined by speed or how technical they are; they are defined by whether or not they create an emotion within the listener.”
To be honest, I actually really like it when a band throws in a cover as the final track on an album. In this case it’s a Slayer cover that’s from my favorite album by them, South of Heaven. I know that there are a lot of you out there that like to bash on bands that play covers saying that they’re “uncreative”, “rip-offs”, or “that the original is better”. When I hear a cover, whether or not it’s better than the original is the last thing that pops into my head. I see a cover as a band’s demonstration of respect towards the bands that have influenced them. But I will admit that there are several covers out there that are better than the originals like Vader’s cover of Black Metal by Venom, blink-182’s cover of All the Small Things by Men at Work, and Hatebreed’s version of Thirsty and Miserable by Black Flag. And remember, I love Venom, Men at Work, and Black Flag, A LOT.
One might think that the production quality of this album is poor. But all you have to do is add some bass and turn up the volume, and it actually sounds really powerful and dark. The vocalist’s guttural growls are pristine with a very crisp sound. For those of you long-haired freaks (like me), this album is perfect to do the hair twirly thing (I don’t know what else to call it, but you know what I mean). The guitarists express a great deal of creativity and teamwork even though they don’t take up very much of the technicality that the album holds.
I love how you can hear the bassist, but unless you’ve been listening to death metal for a long time or unless you’re a bassist like me you might not be able to hear the bass guitar as easily. The music on this album is very fun to play on any instrument. There is something on this record that bothers me; and that is that the majority of the songs have the same general sound. It’s one of those things where if you’re not giving the music your undivided attention, it all sounds like one long song. But this is pretty understandable since this is an extremely young band and it’s their first album. But that aside, it’s obvious that this group has a lot of potential.
Overall, this is actually a really good record considering that this is only a debut. I did learn that Decapitated had already built up a pretty good sized fan base in Europe by the time this album was released; so they had quite a bit of support to give them an extra boost to make their future success run more smoothly. If I could change some things around a little bit, I would turn the bass up a bit, turn down a few of the percussionist’s drums (specifically his snare), and increase the production quality. Other than that, there isn’t really anything I would want to do to make this album better. I would give this 15/20.