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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.