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“Nihility” is the sophomore release by Polish technical death metal band Decapitated. And on this album, they pretty much live up to the “technical” aspect. There are so many complex riffs and weird time changes going on, it kind of scrambles your brain and amazes you. But it’s not just the guitar riffs that impressed me: I’d say the star of the show is their late drummer, Vitek. I was amazed at how fast he could play on their album “Winds of Creation”, and he continues to live up to my expectations on this album. His drumming style mainly consists of blast beats and fast double bass with some drum fills here and there. He’s no Tim Yeung or Derek Roddy, but he was definitely one of the best drummers around. He will be missed.
The bass lines are completely inaudible if you ask me, so I’ll just forget about it. I am very impressed by Vogg’s guitar work here. It’s highly advanced and possibly ahead of its time. He’s that good. I also noticed that there are brief pauses between the instruments here and there, whether they are just a short pause that lasts only a fraction of a second, like in “Nihility (Anti-Human Manifesto)” or “Mother War”, or a noticeable half-second of time in between notes, like in “Perfect Dehumanisation (The Answer?)” or “Spheres of Madness”. I believe that these brief pauses allow the instruments to breathe and create their own brutal statement.
Speaking of brutality, I have to say this is not their most brutal offering. Probably because they focus too much on the riffs that they kind of forgot about the heaviness, which wasn’t a problem on their debut, “Winds of Creation”. Sauron’s vocals also sound a bit weaker on this album compared to the deep gutturals he had on their debut. Sure, it’s not the heaviest of Decapitated’s albums, but it’s a technical riff fest, so it’s not really important.
When it comes to the individual songs, I’d say the standouts would be “Nihility (Anti-Human Manifesto)”, “Mother War”, “Perfect Dehumansation (The Answer?)”, and the super-fast technical riff fest “Symmetry of Zero”. “Nihility” is probably the best song on the album. It’s got a great intro/main riff that’s actually quite catchy, and Vitek is once again doing a great job on drums. “Symmetry of Zero”, like I said above, is a super-fast technical riff fest, and when I say technical, I mean technical. I bet even the most advanced guitar players out there would have difficulty learning how to play the song. It’s that amazing, and surprisingly progressive for a two-and-a-half minute song. In my opinion, the weakest song on the album is, shockingly, “Spheres of Madness”. It’s a little too repetitive for my taste, and it’s much slower compared to the rest of the album, which is filled with many progressions in time change and both fast and highly advanced guitar riffs. But it’s still an awesome song.
Overall, this is a strong album and a must-have for any death metal fan.
Between the amazing “Winds of Creation” and the terribly weak, “Organic Hallucinosis”, something went wrong with Polish technical death metal band, Decapitated. Luckily that thing that went wrong did not happen in their album, “Nihility”.
Vitek’s drumming is the focal point in this album, from his intense almost mechanized drumbeat in “Spheres of Madness” and his double bass fills in “Babylon’s Pride” to the general speed of his double bass kicking and intense gravity blasting throughout the album, it is obvious that Vitek’s talent as a drummer still hadn’t been fully expressed by “Nihility”. As is expected from any YouTube douche who comments on a pre-1986 Metallica video, Pantera video, or Death video, the RIPs should be flying around like so many falsified emotions at the death of a politician, child molesting celebrity, or rich family member that no one ever really knew but expects a good chunk of change from, but Vitek’s death did cut the drummer’s potentially illustrious career short, at least before it turned to shit and people began to wonder why he didn’t retire (*dry cough* Metallica). The drumming in this album is very complicated, even to a non-drummer, the time signatures, rapid beat changes, and intense double bass kicking are mind-blowing. Giving even Frost and George Kollias, two huge drummers in the black and death metal genres respectively, Vitek’s double bass kicking in “Mother War” grinds the tempo of the song at a blistering pace. The sound of the drums is well-produced; the bass does get a little too clicky, but not too much to be a burden.
Sauron’s vocals, though brutal gutturals, are unintelligible and thickly accented. Though the vocals are amazing compared to those of Covan, whose hardcore clean vocals made “Organic Hallucinosis” sound like crap, the gutturals could use some work to sound less throaty and deeper or more intelligible and enunciated with less accent. The lyrics that the vocals are covering are intelligently written, but the intelligence of the lyrics is destroyed by the vocals. Granted, the vocals do sound close to those of Frank Mullen of New York death metal pioneers, Suffocation, but the garbled throatiness of the vocals do not compare to the deeper anger that Mullen expresses in his vocals.
The guitar sound is very well represented. The solo at 1:06 in the title track represents the gist of the soloing for the album, a lot of arpeggios are used, good echoing distortion, and little to no melody at all keep the solos technical and in the same heavy vein as the rest of the song as well as adds some of the guitarist’s personality to the mix and breaks up the monotony of the tracks. The tracks do sound dry guitar-wise. The same riffs are employed and have generally the same low growling sound with little variety. If there is any tedium in this album, it is coming from the guitar. Once in a while, like in “Names”, “Spheres of Madness”, and there will be some really interesting and enjoyable riffs and even a groove sound in “Eternity Too Short”, but for the most part the guitars remain passable and try not to add as much emotion and power to the album as other technical death metal bands strive for from their guitars.
“Spheres of Madness” is definitely the most standout track of the album. Catchy but still technical and at a reasonable pace to be able to keep up with the drumming, this song showcases some of Vitek’s astonishing double bass stamina as he keeps with the same double bass beat throughout the entire song, save for a few breaks here and there that the entire band indulges in. The riff is a catchy chugging sound as though it is being played in a trashcan with some movement into higher notes to keep it going and make it one of the most standout riffs of the album. The vocals perfectly compliment the mix, not too dry and not too gargled, Sauron does well to contain the vocals in a certain medium range that has just enough grit to stay brutal but is more understandable than in most of the other songs to ensure this song is as approachable as possible. Decapitated did very well to make “Spheres of Madness” their money track, and it has paid off as it is just about the best track of the album.
In all, though this album is a really good listen, the guitars do created some tedium in the overall sound of it, the production on the drums is of high quality, but the production on the vocals, and the vocals themselves are lacking in too many places on this album. This album is a good medium between the nearly perfect “Winds of Creation” and shithouse “Organic Hallucinosis” as both a good listen but an album that could have done with more variation from the guitars and vocals in different places. That being said, standout songs like “Spheres of Madness”, “Eternity Too Short”, and “Mother War” give the album a good boost, and the lyrics, though tough to understand, are very well-written.
Decapitated, in a very short period of time has become one of the most talked about metal bands today. The band shot to fame with their debut release, “Winds Of Creation”. With this album they have achieved a monumental leap in metal ranks, such that bands can only dream about and this monumental rise in success may be attributed to the fact that in not many bands, the average age to be around 18! The band features Sauron on vocals, Vogg on guitar, and Martin on bass and Vitek on drums.
Two years on things have changed, well except for the band line-up, which I hoped would have changed because the band was going nowhere with their previous effort and a fresh mind would have bought new ideas, or at least some ideas. But how much have the changed? Let’s find out.
Sauron has improved. His low, raspy growls are no more and they have been replaced with a harsher and throatier one. This suits the music much more since they are more aggressive and quite frankly, playing aggressive is all the band knows.
The massive improvement though is in the guitars department. It’s more technical and cuts through you. The relentless shred assault by Vogg is quite a surprise here compared to his damp performance in the band’s debut record. He has bought to his music, a lot of variation and so we can hear a lot of riffs throughout this LP. The riffs are more expansive and complex and he has come up with a lot of good ones this time in tracks like, “Perfect Dehumanization (The Answer?)” and “Spheres Of Madness”. There is a definite improvement in the quality of guitar solos too, though the quite solos are sparse as well as far and wide between each other.
As for the “mighty” Vitek, he has improved as well. Though he plays very fast through out the record, there are for a change mid-tempo sections too, something that was not seen in the debut of the band. He however still has the annoying tendency to try and hog on the limelight, though it may not be as powerful as in the debut release. His work on the double bass has improved and he has matured but still the same weakness that was in the debut album still haunts him. His drum fills are gutter worthy. They are horrendous and the perfect example can be seen on track 2, “Eternity Too Short”.
What can be said about Martin and his bass work? It’s just like he doesn’t exist or the band doesn’t bother to acknowledge his presence. His bass is always lost in the mix and is hardly audible. Whenever the bass can be heard it seems completely out of sync with the rest of the band and you realize that the non-existent bass phase was better off anyway.
The production however is a sort of thumbs up since the production is better and the instruments clearer, but just one thing the producer forgot along with the rest of the band. The bass. The song writing prowess though an improvement over last time still isn’t satisfactory and this the reason for the low score I decided to give this album. Yes, there is variance. Yes, there are lot of tempo changes and yes, the band has attempted to try out something new rather tan use the formula they used in the last record that gave them gargantuan amounts of success. But, ah yes, the but. The music is just forced together into a single piece most of the time for the majority of the tracks. The shifting between the fast-tempo and the mid paced tempo seems disjointed and always seem out of place thus maintaining not even a slight degree of fluidity. If this wasn’t bad enough, tracks like “Names” and “Symmetry Zero” add to the agony of the listener. An overdose of aggression backed with no variance amounts to a lot of boredom and it’s just best if you skip these track altogether.
Overall, this effort is an improvement over the last album. The guitar work is rather good and there are few tracks that are good. They are, “Perfect Dehumanization (The Answer?)”, “Spheres Of Madness” and the title track. These tracks, especially Spheres Of Madness consists of harmonious melodies and isn’t overtly technical and provides the listener a breath of fresh air. However, the band needs to alternate between the different tempos a in a better way so that they seem surprisingly connected rather than forcefully jointed just for the sake of introducing some variation. There are also a few good moments on the effort, like when the tempo was slowed down in, “Mother War” but the consistency, or more specifically the sheer lack of it results in the presence good moments rather than many good tracks or a good album. This album is worth a try though, and is worth a couple of spins.
Extreme metal as a whole is crammed with alot of formulaic boredom. Occasionally however there's something that's really quite special. This album then, is representative of extreme metal as a whole. Certain songs really have that sense of energy and intensity that makes death metal great; others are just insipid and monotonous.
It's difficult to tell what they had in mind for this album, some sections seem to have an almost 'it'll do' mentality. You could be forgiven for not noticing Babylon's Pride and Symmetry of Zero are different songs, as the sound of both are so similar. Many of the riffs fit the death metal cliché and that’s about it.
When you get to songs like "spheres of madness" or "eternity too short" it's almost worth all the previous dross, as the quality of the writing is very high. The guitar uses some interesting harmony and the songs twist and turn in unexpected ways; refreshing compared to most of the album.
However despite these merits it's all for nothing why you notice how unbelievably dull the drumming is. The double bass is utterly relentless and not in a particularly good way. They bash away in the back of every track almost identically, when the sheer unoriginality of the drums becomes apparent, the rest of the album becomes annoying. This is really what turns the album from average to irritating.
The vocals are barely even worth mentioning for the most part, as they fail utterly to produce anything memorable. Is there a bass in this album? It appears to be absent for some unknown reason, probably totally mixed out, so it can’t really be commented on.
Not the worst death metal you could find, simply an example of good and bad; with the drumming shitting on all of it. You could really make alot better use of your time than listening to this, get Organic Hallucinosis instead.
Nihility was one of the first death metal albums I picked up, and I am very grateful for that. Decapitated for me, is a band that will alwyas view how I see death metal. This albums is an intense, fast, furious, ride that only takes about a half hour to listen to. The first time listening to it, it does not really seem to stop at all, but after listening for awhile, things start to make more sense.
The technical aspect of this album is one that can surely not be overlooked. I know it is not the most flashy or astounding tech death albums out there, but it definately has the power to wow you at some points. The guitar parts are very cleanly played and leave little to be desired in tone and clarity. The drums are also a huge part of this album, Vitek shapes the enitre sound of the album with his ferocious drumming and unrelenting blast beats and double bass drum. The vocals on the album are not the greatest, but they definately are not the worst. They are mixed relatively low anyway so if they really get on your nerves, they are not the focal point of the album. The harmonies on some of the guitar parts are also fantastic, they give the album a much richer, more evil sound than if it had just been one guitar. The almost sickening amount of minor thirds also helps to add to how evil and bitter the guitar riffs sound.
The songwriting on this album is also something that I believe must be given credit. Most death metal bands are accused of sounding the same, and I'm not going to lie, this album has its share of similar riffs, but the songs are distinguishable in some parts, which I think is a very important thing for a death metal album to have.
Now this may sound completely cheesey and lame, but my favorite song on this album by far is Spheres of Madness. It is just completely unrelentingly brutal. It is hard to listen to that opening riff and not headbang or nod your head, its almost makes you think of a groovey riff. It is one of the catchiest riffs in death metal I've heard, and the rythm pattern is always stuck in my head.
Some not-so-great things about this album is the length of the songs. Many of them could be trimmed down to a more listenable size. Also, the vocals add to the fact that the songs sound similar, like I said before, the vocals aren't the worst, but they can detract from some of the more appealing aspects of the album
Overall, there are very few songs on this album that I would reccomend staying away from. If you are looking for a brutal album that will get you pumped up to go fight someone, I would highly suggest giving Nihility a quick listen through, you will not be dissapointed.
Here’s a great crushing technical rollercoaster from Poland’s Decapitated. It’s extremely sad that we may never hear anything from these death metal masters again due to the tragic accident last year resulting in the death of their young and legendary drummer Vitek and the severe injury of their new vocalist Coven. It’s sad because they were a very young band and an enormously talented one. In my opinion they never put out a bad album and 2002’s Nihility is no exception.
From the crunching guitars, thunder drums (RIP Vitek), and simply fierce vocals that this album opens with (Perfect Dehumanization) the listener is thrown into a war zone of technical mastery. The riffs are complex, the drums are blasting, and the tempos are everywhere. This is truly the work of underrated and truly talented musicians. Mother War features a great solo and the title track’s menacing riff will have you replaying the song several times before moving on to what’s to come. And what’s to come is massive. Spheres of Madness may be my personal favourite Decapitated song. It just has everything you could ask for in a technical death metal song with the inclusion of a great chorus with the lyrics “Salvation is nothing, nothing is salvation!” Truly genius. The rest of the album continues the onslaught and never lets up. All that I could ask for is more than eight tracks, but honestly there is no filler.
I don’t know what goes on in Poland but they sure seem to put out some heavy fucking bands (Behemoth, Vader, Vesania). So if you are in the mood for some neck breaking, ruthless, in your face heaviness I would recommend Nihility or any other Decapitated CD to you. It sounds quite different than their latest masterpiece, Organic Hallucinosis but I guess just because of the new vocalist. In honour of their fallen warrior pick this offering up and embrace the nihilism.
Nihility sees Decapitated take a slightly more definite direction towards their own sound. Where their previous and much acclaimed album Winds of Creation flowed in a brutal yet somehow ‘organic’ way, this album has a more mechanical edge to it, the crisp production replacing the more natural, warm sound of the previous release.
I’m not sure I like this different edge as much production wise, as I feel it is a bit tinny at times, but in other ways the triggered drums and full-bodied guitars add a lot to the aggressive style. The songs are consistent, and are relentlessly driven by both the precise drums and wild but accurate riffs. The technical elements that we heard in Winds of Creation are still very much present, and add an exciting element of creativity, giving some tracks an unpredictable, original quality. On the other hand, on some occasions I do find the song structures a bit repetitive, with sections being repeated identically and at times predictably, detracting from the enjoyment of the song after a few listens, even to the point of tedium now and again.
Overall though the song writing can hardly be knocked, and the musicianship is of the highest standard. The combination of groovy, powerful concepts and more intricate, perhaps thoughtful passages is one thing I really enjoy about the band, and this album showcases this at its best. All members add their own elements to the recording - the deep, brutal but controlled vocals of Sauron, the solid, pulsing bass of Martin (well…I tried!), the inventive, intense and quite brilliant guitar work of Vogg, and the always precise, energetic drumming of Vitek – all are on top form.
Decapitated are a young and still developing band, and this album marks a surer step towards the technical, precise death metal that they are making their own. Is it as good as Winds of Creation? Well in my opinion I would say not. It lacks the same level of excitement, liquidity and just pure enjoyment of listening from my perspective, but nonetheless this is a confident and very solid slab of intense, technical, aggressive death metal from a band that no one – fan or band alike - can afford to ignore.
This is the second album of the Polish Death Metal band Decapitated, not counting the The First Damned release, which is basically a collection of their first demo?s.
Musically this band reminds me a lot of Morbid Angel, very technical and filled with lots of riffs, melodies and a lot of instrumental passages, which however never get boring due to the very inventive and tight playing. What impresses me a lot is the fact that, even though the average age of the band members is around 20 (!!) they already manage to deliver an album which puts a lot of fellow death metallers to shame. Just listen to a track like "Mother War" or my absolute favorite "Spheres of Madness".
All four of the musicians are obviously very skilled at their instruments, and even their vocalist Sauron has a grunt which I would call pleasant. (normally with most death metal bands, the singer/grunter is my main point of complaint). There?s really not a thing about this album wich I can talk about in a negative way.
It seems that that other Polish band Vader might have some serious competition on their hands and should better come up with something very impressive if they don?t want to loose their title of best polish metal band ! (and the same goes for most other death metal bands around !) Mark my words, if Decapitated manage to keep this quality up, we will hear a lot from them in the future...