Release Date: 7th July, 2017
Label: Nuclear Blast
Review by John
Polish death metallers Decapitated have never been a band content to rest on their laurels. Constantly developing and refining their sound (as seen to great effect on their previous release, 2014s ‘Blood Mantra’), they ensure that fans never quite know what to expect.
With ‘Anticult’, their 7th studio album (and their third since the fatal accident 10 years ago that tragically altered their course forever), they sound more polished and essential than ever.
After a brief, mood laden introduction, ‘Impulse’ explodes into life with some visceral shredding and snarling vocals from singer Rafal Piotrowski that are simply oozing with pure menace.
‘Deathvaluation’ speeds things up a notch, with a fast tempo flurry of drums gelled with frantic technical metal riffs, while the intro to ‘Kill The Cult’ introduces just a hint of twisted groove to the sound, before morphing into a thrashy number that has the feel of being exactly the kind of sound that Max Cavelara strives (and fails) achieve with Soulfly.
Next up is ‘One Eyed Nation’,which keeps up the quality with a ceaseless flow of deliciously blackened, evil sounding riffs pumped directly into your brain, before a barrage of blast beats are fired off straight to your face courtesy of the battering ram that is ‘Anger Line’.
The album’s undoubted highlight ‘Earth Scar’ sees Piotrowski employing a slightly cleaner singing style. Hellishly catchy, and featuring an undeniably killer guitar solo, it is, at times, almost operatic in its infectious beauty. It could well be the best track of the band’s 21 year career.
The difficult job of following that goes to the album’s penultimate offering, ‘Never’, which starts slowly, before going for the jugular in a cacophany of uncompromising brutality.
Finally, we have ‘Amen’, which sees a more stripped down, sludgy style. Almost entirely instrumental, save for a brief burst of anguished doom metal screaming, as it comes to a close, you’re left immediately wanting more.
At eight tracks and a little under 40 minutes long, the album is pretty much the perfect length and never so much as comes close to outstaying its welcome, keeping things varied enough to ensure that familiarity never sets in.
At this point in the review I’d normally be highlighting any weak points but, in all honesty,I simply can’t find any. Everything is judged to almost absolute perfection.
Dark, twisted and mind numbingly brutal, ‘Anticult’ is up there among the essential releases of 2017.
3. Kill The Cult
4. One Eyed Nation
5. Anger Line
6. Earth Scar
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/decapitated
Visit their website: www.decapitatedband.net