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Decrowning is the first album by Amoral that I came across. As soon as the riff on the first track Showdown kicked in I was blown away. The riffing was great, the drumming went along very well in a very unconventional fashion following a well crafted groove that complemented the riff perfectly. This was a very different breed of death metal that I got exposed to. After a long "riffing session" and a fairly long intro to the song I was eager to listen to the vocals. Needless to say this is where that band begins to disappoint.
After the unique band sound that I was introduced to I expected a powerful harsh and gutteral vocal style. Instead what I got was a very metalcore-ish form of vocal production. I must say this was a bit of a let down. The album could have been fantastic if it weren't for the vocals. It clearly did not have the quality to generate the same intensity that the riffs did.
However unimpressive the vocals might have been the rest of the band still amused me. Decrowning definitely has some of the best riffs I have ever heard. The songwriting is mature and the strong bass sound that the band possesses manages to over shadow all else that may come in your way of enjoying this band.
Decrowning however like every other album out there has its good side and its down side. There are "weak" songs present in the album that force you to push the forward button and go to the next song. For example in my eyes Lacrimal Gland along with Raptus and Tiebreaker was a half hearted effort by the band.
Compared to the rest of the album these few songs seemed quite mediocre and rather...well the most polite manner I can put it in would be BORING!!
All in all at the end of the day Decrowning is an album that could have made it to my top 10 metal albums of all time if it wasn't for the flat sounding vocals and a couple of uninteresting songs. On listening to the first one minute of the album I really thought that this band would reach that legendary status such as Death, Vader, Morbid Angel just to name a few. Unfortunately two minutes into the album chnaged my mind. It had all the elements present in it that would have made it a groundbreaking album and catapulted Amoral to a totally different level. But at the same time also has those elements that will force you to reconsider.
Technical DM acts can be monotonous in their zeal to show off their speed and ability, but not so much Amoral. Decrowning is hardly TDM at all. For one thing, the songs are mostly short and to the point. Not something I associate with Technical Death Metal. I’m looking for monotonous meandering track after track. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I didn’t find it here.
The thing about TDM, and another reason why I don’t think Amoral qualifies, is that it can be hard to listen to the first time. All those time changes and off-beats require some attention. Amoral puts up more melodic offerings, allowing the music to just be heard and enjoyed. The vocal are used appropriately to augment each track, which are all straightforwardly driven by the rhythm guitar and drums.
Once you’ve gotten used to the band’s sound, through, it stagnates. Tracks 4, 5, and 6 don’t offer anything new, which to my mind signals a bridge to a finale of some sort. Nope. ‘Control Cancer’ is fairly technical, and ‘Raptus’ ramps it up a little more, speed-wise. The album then takes a jarring left turn with the melodic instrumental ‘Warp’. It’s only 2:17 long, and is quite nice as an intro to ‘Bleeder’, the final track, but still. It throws off the album’s denouement.
All the tracks tend to end suddenly and without fanfare, making you think there should’ve been more song there or something. Aside from that, this is reasonably accomplished full-on Death Metal. 'Decrowning' offers a good samplig of Amoral's sound, but I didn't find that it gelled very well.