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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.