Poland tends to unleash some of the most brutal death metal groups to the masses. Like Vader before them Decapitated made a name for themselves with their debut LP, “Winds of Creation” (2000). The fury has grown with their seventh release, “Anticult” (2017), which is a follow-up to “Blood Mantra” (2014), also out via Nuclear Blast Records.
Starting as a strictly technical death metal act, Decapitated incorporated more of a groove into their brand of death metal, later on in their career. Guitarist Vogg joined Vader as a live guitarist when the band split after tragedy struck in 2007, which lead to the loss of drummer Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka due to a vehicle accident involving a truck. Since 2009 Vogg, the only original member has reformed the band with the current lineup now including vocalist Rafał Piotrowski (Forgotten Souls, Ketha), drummer Młody (Pagan Forest, Access Denied), and bassist Hubert Więcek (Banisher, Redemptor).
Piotrowski has proven to be one ferocious replacement of former vocalist Covan, who also took over from original vocalist Sauron. The numerous lineup changes don’t seem to phase Vogg as the beast has been reinvented and here we have eight solid tracks to show both old and new fans of Decapitated why they are one of the most important groove/death metal bands out there.
The guitar tone of opening track Impulse creates the atmosphere only bands such as Katatonia are capable of before the crunching bass beckons to the pedal to the metal of Młody coming at full force. The overpowering screams of Piotrowski are heard over the thunderous guitar of Vogg who remains the core of the band. A nifty guitar lead turns into an inspiring solo that would please the guitar enthusiast. Following up with Deathvaluation, which turns into an upbeat hardcore infused headbang. Vogg makes his way up and down the fretboard with some frantic solos thrown in for good measure.
Kill the Cult, grooves with a guitar loop that will send the listener in circles like a lost man trying to find where he parked in a carpark at the mall. The anthemic chorus “Kill this God. God of Lies” will ring through the speakers and vibrate the walls before another guitar solo makes it way through the constant groove. One Eyed Nation shows the evil side of the band with screams of rage, before taking down the pace a notch welcoming guitar leads and taking a complete three-sixty, with one final outburst which leads to a drum roll to start Anger Line. Never short of guitar solos Vogg slays yet again.
Earth Scar will leave a scar like an imprint left within the listener’s brain. The catchy number has a groove to it that is as a contagious as the black plague. The guitar solo evident would crack a smile on the angriest of men. Standout track Never is another epic six-minute track off the album where Decapitated show their worth in the death metal scene. The guitar tone is a standout with guitar solos to worship. The riffs come in Godzilla proportions, sure to take over anything and anyone that gets in the way. Closing like how all good prayers end with an Amen, they are good if they are answered right? Decapitated have answered prayers from the metal gods releasing one promising album that will tear the listener a new one. Amen to the “Anticult” indeed.