REVIEW: DECAPITATED – “Anticult”
It is hard to believe, but Decapitated are a band with a 21-year history, having formed back in 1996 and releasing their debut demo ‘Cemetarial Gardens’ in 1997. After a second demo, the band went on to record their legendary debut ‘Winds of Creation’. Piotr Wiwczarek of Vader was so impressed by the young and talented bunch of musicians that he lent his skills to producing the album. The band have since went on to release many more albums, building upon the traditional death metal which could be heard on their early albums to a more modern version of death metal which draws from a wide spectrum of influences.
The band while experiencing more highs and lows than most other bands, have battled against all odds to become one of the more interesting death metal bands out there. This is all the more impressive when you consider that the band’s driving force, Wacław Kiełtyka, is only 35.
‘Anticult’ is the band’s seventh album, and for me is an album where the band have come of age and found their own unique corner of metal. Yes, the band have been reaching for this on the past fews albums, but now they have finally perfected their blend of death metal with interesting song structures that weave a web of intricate riffs and time structures while maintaining a sense of dynamics and groove. This is not an easy task to do – on the one hand to be so technical, and on the other make every note so engaging and compelling to the listener. The band have really locked in and honed each and every note this time around.
Another aspect of this album is that you get eight songs where none – and I mean none – of the music is throwaway. This is a lesson which many new bands should take into account. Nowadays, many bands go for quantity over quality with way too much material and bonus tracks for various releases. When I think about it, all of the classic albums I loved back in the day had a limited amount of songs; but each one counted.
The twists and turns in each song and the amount of parts which all flow, blend and ebb together is something magical to behold; such is the fluency of the band. It is like they are one entity, and it will be interesting to see if they are this tight in a live setting. You could take any song on this album and break it down to the sum of its parts in order to demonstrate how well crafted this album is. However, to give you a breakdown of each song would only lessen their impact. Believe me: half the joy is discovering the little nuances contained within each song, which always offers something unnoticed with each and every listen.
The songwriting does not follow the traditional, predictable song structure of standard death metal, and this alone should make ‘Anticult’ one of the highlights in metal this year. I can not really fault this album in any way – from the songs to the instrumentation and right down to the production, everything about this album just screams perfection. I have tried in vain with each listen to find something at fault, but to no avail!
Decapitated have managed to write a timeless album which looks to the future, bringing some new sounds to the table with an emphasis on songwriting and structure. ‘Anticult’ is an album which showcases a band who have become a force to be reckoned with, and could go head-to-head with the masters of the genre.