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Decapitated never does the same exact thing twice. Of course they stick to their genre, but if you really focus on their records, you notice changes. Winds of Creation offered a murky brutality. Nihility had this unique vibe that offers a near perfect blend of sound between brutality and technicality. The Negation offers up the grooviest album yet. Already being solidified as being one of Poland's best extreme metal acts yet, they conjure The Negation, and confirmed their spot (in my opinion) in the 'must-listen-to extreme metal bands' list. If there was a mandatory list, anyways. However, this album proves to be the weakest one yet.
The production is top notch. Everything sounds perfect, as usual for this band for my tastes. The mixing is slightly improving too. I really dislike how inaudible the bass is for many bands, and this album is the first of Sauron-era Decapitated that I'm able to hear it the best. It's not really much of a praise however, as it's mainly clicking noises. Korn anyone? It still compliments the guitars, but there's STILL nothing of worth in the bass. That's the biggest issue I have with this band. Luckily enough, they still rule in every other department.
The guitars have a really crunchy and yet brutal sound. In the song writing and idea department, it's starting to become lackluster. The grooves can be badass, but Vogg is starting to run out of ideas. Many of these riffs feel copied and pasted throughout the album. Nihility had this weird vibe to it, where the grooves were just exceptionally motivating, yet they weren't really the most clever, or the most intriguing of riffs. This album in general is similar, except that motivating part isn't as motivating. The leads play a more important part than ever, however. I felt like they were more lively, and maybe even more varied. The best part, or at least the most 'relieving' part, would be the breakdowns. They don't overbear anything, AND they aren't overly done. They're placed correctly, they're executed correctly, and they fucking rip. I absolutely hate the overly done deathcore bands that do breakdown over breakdown (who doesn't?), and this album has fine examples of the how-to breakdown.
The drumming is still quite excellent, but is also running out of ideas. The songs aren't the most technical and the most brutal that Decapitated has written. In fact, it's definitely one of the weaker Vitek albums. That's astonishing considering it's still pretty fucking great drumming. He still manages to know when to show off, and still manages to hold back when needed. The drumming in general adds a sense of heavy grooves underneath the guitars. During the few breakdowns this album has to offer, it gets REALLY groovy, and definitely shines throughout these parts the most, in my opinion.
Lastly, the vocals. What else can I say about Sauron? The guys a beast, and continues off the same vocal style has of Nihility. They're this guttural vocal style, except with a raspy sound. It's like a really big dog barking. An extremely large, three headed dog, kinda like Cerberus, that has this nasty yet loud tone to it. Yeah, that's a good comparison. The only lacking part is that he has no variety. This isn't much of a letdown considering I still like his consistent voice.
If it wasn't for the name Decapitated, I probably would give an even lower score, but my bias for their first two albums make this album more enjoyable for me. I would probably call this a more average death metal release than it is an amazing one, but it's still a pretty good release. Don't start with this release, but if you're into Decapitated, and death metal in general, you definitely won't regret it.
The Empty Throne
The final album from the classic Decapitated lineup (before Covan stepped in to replace Sauron) also happens to be the one I most struggle to remember. Both the cover art and production values of The Negation are superior to Nihility, but musically they seemed to continue a process of stagnation without abandoning the energetic musicianship. A lot of the riffing passages remind me quite a lot of Morbid Angel circa Covenant or the faster Vader blitzes, or more accurately an analog to Behemoth's death metallic tirades of the late 90s/21st century; sufficiently explosive and muscular, but lacking much real staying power once the percussive consistency has vacated the listener's brain. This album does indeed sound great through the speakers, and I kept waiting for those money shot guitar progressions circa the earlier albums to help fill out the intensity of the execution, but they never seemed to cu...show up. It's safe harbor to a number of retread ideas thickened with a little more meat.
For example, "Three-Dimensional Defect" has a lot of that pinpoint muted aggression circa "Spheres of Madness", only with more shredding in there; while a number of other tunes have opening riff salvos that almost remind me of new millennium Slayer material if it were to quickly be subsumed by Sandoval blast storms and picking punches that lack a lot of individual character. This is very likely Decapitated at its densest, and I do enjoy the guitar tone a lot here as it eschews the aridity of its predecessor, but as one seeking those winding, hectic but highly musical note progressions that defined Winds of Creation, I felt like this album often suffered from a lot of what might plague a band like Krisiun, that Morbid Angel or Deicide-inspired reliance on heavy brickwork without much clever or unique songwriting. Brutality and speed first, and a lot of insipid palm mute passages to which distinction is a foreign concept. The sword is mightier than the pen this time around, and the best I can say for it all is that Vitek's drumming certainly seemed to have continued to develop. This is probably his most intense performance over the four albums he was with the band, but without anything interesting to beat the skins to it just doesn't matter so much.
I have a hard time coming up with even a half-dozen guitar parts on this album that I'd consider keepers, like in "The Empty Throne" or "Three-Dimensional Defect" which felt like leftovers from the Nihility sessions, or a lick or two from the title track. Sauron sounds a hell of a lot like David Vincent on Domination, which is not a negative necessarily, but the guy would simply never evolve his gutturals into something that a hundred other guys don't already have covered (he's a little better on the second Masachist effort, Scorned, but still not unique. Lyrically Decapitated remain consistent, they've never been a gore band, so the song subjects deal with the constraints of our flawed beliefs, religions, human vices/impulses or civilizations as a whole, but then the music is just too rarely thoughtful to drive them home. They cover Deicide's "Lunatic of God's Creation", but unlike the Slayer tune on the debut, there's not much making it their own, because aside from a few production tweaks its exactly like the origin...stylistically dependent, and that post-bridge section seems to have directly translated into a handful of their own riffs on this album. The Negation is ultimately one of those albums which comes off as effectively brutal without much need for dizzying complexity, but after a decade of second chances, it just don't cultivate enough sticky chops to bother with.
Production: slightly thicker than on Nihility (probably to make up for the trite vocals this time around); very guitar heavy (which is a good thing). The drums are on the weak side of the mix, namely the double bass (which is nice and mid-pitched, actually sounding like a double bass) and the cymbals are quite drowned out by the guitars. The bass is insanely low and hard to detect. It simply adds to the heaviness.
The Fury – Let’s cut to the chase: this is the best song on the album. Why? It’s one of the only songs on here that doesn’t ever lose its novelty or its focus. This song is called “The Fury”; and it’s exactly what you’d expect from a song titled as such: chaotic, relentless sonic obliteration. Well…. perhaps that’s complimenting it too much. This song isn’t quite Darkness Descends; but it manages to skullfuck plenty of lesser Death metal songs. The song starts off with about 21 seconds of atmospheric “pounding” (the calm before the storm) before slamming your head into a wall with one of the best riffs on the album. The riff immediately after that shows off Vitek’s double kick speed and accuracy (his drumming on this entire album is about as accurate as humanly possible), while the guitar seems to take a quick breather while laughing at the damage the previous riff just caused to your neck. The next riff is complete brutal Death metal, and it introduces Sauron’s vox (here is quick summary of the vox for this entire album: it’s a monotonous, generic growl that I’ve quickly managed to ignore. He definitely lost his trademark guttural vokill that he had on the last two albums. The only compliment I have for his new vocals is that they’re consistent and rhythmically accurate - other than that, nothing special). Then at 1:30, you get your ass handed to you by a slamming riff that leads straights back into the opening riff, this time layered with an impressive, short solo (great knockout combo right there). This process repeats with a different solo at the end. The only complaint I have about the song is that it ends abruptly on a weak note (clearly setting you up for the crapfest also known as…)
Three-Dimensional Defect – honestly, this is one of most worthless songs on the album. It’s laden with annoying stop-start riffing and plenty of pretentious “technical” riffing. This song has a sickening –core feel to it and probably appeals to fans of aimless Death metal (seeing as how the song never gets anywhere, just kind of stomps around in circles like a br00tal moron). The solos and the last 31 seconds of the song are decent. Good thing next song redeems this one’s failure…
Lying and Weak – this is another one of the highlights of the album. It starts off with an AMAZING Thrash riff……. unfortunately, they ultimately fucked the entire song’s worth by STARTING it with said riff. It may not make sense now, but when listening to this song for the first time, I highly doubt that anyone noticed the brilliance of that first riff. The reason for this is simply that they placed it in the wrong spot. Just listen to every other time they use that riff in the song – it r-a-p-e-s you. That said, this song is basically a combination of the first song and the second song (except without the shittiness of the second song). It has the speed and tone of the “The Fury” with the technicality of “Three-Dimensional Defect” (without being overly pretentious). Plus, it has that bowel thrashing riff every once in a while which kills all chances of losing interest. My complaint is that the middle of the song is fairly aimless and drags on a bit too long. Overall, it’s still a standout song - unlike the next one…
Sensual Sickness – This song is the album’s pure brutal Death metal song. Unlike “Lying and Weak”, the middle of this song is highpoint of the track. There are a couple of things stopping this song from being good: that pointless “fake” end at 2:40, followed by 45 seconds of CRAP, before finally coming back to the same riff they used at the highpoint of the song to bring it to an end. Nope, this one is definitely not a winner – despite the strong closer. Speaking of weak tracks…
The Calling – What the fuck is this? Yep, Decapitated’s instrumentals definitely suck balls. It sounds like sirens wailing behind some digital ambient waves sounds. I suppose if this song came after “The Fury” it might have been appropriate, but instead they put it after a weak song and before this album’s second full-length crapfest…
The Negation – I have no idea why the other reviewers actually preferred this song to some others. I’d have to dub this the second worst song on the album. The only good riff in this entire song is at 3:08. It’s a fairly generic (for Decapitated), technical riff, which is followed by something you’d hear on a Norma Jean album. Damn… that guitar tone can sure use some work on this one. For some reason, this song reminds of me an extremely half-assed version of “Blessed” from Winds of Creation. Ironically, this song has a pretty good solo in it. Too bad it’s pretty much wasted on this piece of shit. It really pisses me off when the title tracks of albums are one of the worst songs on it. Beneath the Remains this is not. Thankfully, the next song is the third highlight of the album…
Long-Desired Dementia – by this time, you’ve probably been long-desiring something that didn’t blow goats. Aren’t you happy that this song casually rolled around? Unfortunately, it’s inconveniently placed at the back of the album, and it’s also the shortest track on the album – not much of a treat after all. This track sounds like a cross-breeding of “The Fury” and one of the few good tracks from Krisiun’s Works of Carnage. For those of you that can’t imagine that: it’s the fastest song on the album and also the heaviest. The riff at 2:25 might rip you a new one. Don’t worry; you’ll have plenty of time to heal during the next, and last, piece of shit song on the album…
Empty Throne – I’ll bet that half-way through “Empty Throne” most people were hoping that the album would have just ended after the previous song. What you have here is an insipid Death metal song that fails to die; and, unlike every other REAL song on the album, this is the only one that DOESN’T end strongly (it just fades out playing the same Suckbid Angel riff you’d hear on Domination). The riffs lead you into believing that there is some kind of MASSIVE finale… there isn’t. This is the worst song on the album (not including the minute or so of noise called “The Calling”.
Given that you don’t have the bonus track, the album is over, leaving you fairly disappointed. Honestly, had the album ended with the aptly titled “Long-Desired Dementia”, I would have given it a 65%; and, quite frankly, I think I’m being generous for giving this album a 60%. Think about it: three good tracks out of eight (or nine, if you have the bonus track) does not make for a quality album. The only thing keeping The Negation from receiving 40-50% is the fact that when this album isn’t good, it’s fairly decent/average. Decapitated are good musicians and know how to be somewhat consistent in their releases. Yes, they’re running out of ideas (which brings me to assume that the next album will TRULY suck), but, like Sepultura’s Arise (although not nearly as good as that album), they still managed to put together a satisfactory effort and please many of their fans with “The Negation”.
The bottom line:
Best track: The Fury
Worst [real] track: Empty Throne
Best attribute(s): highly competent instrumentation, excellent production for this album
Most consistent flaw(s): lack of riffs
Extra comments: I’ve listened to this album about seven times in a row today. It’s safe to conclude that this album gets more boring with each consecutive listen (except the first track). I recommend cropping the said highlights of this album and neglecting the rest.
Decapitated's first 2 albums were both rather excellent, so they must've been under a fair bit of pressure in this album. In this album, then, they took a slightly different approach. There's still all the super heavy riffing we all know and love, but (at least in my mind anyway) there's a bit of thrash influence added here.
One thing that should probably be mentioned first off is the production. It is amazing. The guitar's are super thick and chunky, the drums sound great and Sauron's deep roar sounds awesome. All DM bands should be produced this good. The riffs in this album are for the most part really, really choppy, and along with Sauron's fairly monotonous vocals, this album can become a little bit repetitive after a few songs, simply because not much rings out, and so it can turn into one long thing of choppiness..or something. But, while the riffs may indeed be very choppy, they are also all extremely good, and there is a fair bit of variety. Three Dimensional Defect has some really awesome fast, palm muted riffs that bring to mind Chaosphere-Era Meshuggah, Sensual SIckness has some super moody riffs that are super heavy and quite evil, while on the title track, the whole band slows down for a heavy and super cool thrash song. The leads are amazing too. There's definetly an old school feel about them, but Vogg uses a lot of interesting scales to give it a bit of an alien feel. WHile there are a few long guitar solos, for the most part they're fairly efficent, never overstaying their welcome, which is a good thing. Vogg is an excellent guitar player. All of this riffing and soloing is backed up by the excellent drumming. The drumming is super fast.. but that's to be expected, this is Death Metal After all. But, the drummer does pull of some super fast fills (32nd note stuff, always good to hear) and he does do a lot of creative and interesting beats.
While the vocals aren't much to talk about, and there is definetly an element of repetitiveness, this is a really quite awesome album, full of massive riffs, great drumming and some truly awesome production. Probably a great album to buy if you're just getting into Death Metal too.
I wish I could like this more, as I really should, but unfortunately for Decapitated it's just barely not enough. I assumed this would be the musical leap forward the band needed to truly set themselves upon the pedestal of the “new” elite. And it almost does, but almost is a crucial word here. The large stride forward that was Nihility thrust Decapitated from a novelty act (“hey these guys are ONLY sixteen!”) into a whole new light as one of the leaders in modern death metal. It was sharp, precise, and musically much more interesting and dominating. Mired only by the production which to these old school trained ears was all too mechanical and synthetic, however it STILL captured my interest and continues to satisfy my mind even after multiple listens and dissections.
However The Negation is in fact, a disappointment. Not a worthless effort in the least-it's just not enough of a progression to truly win me over. Not that I'm a prog-nut either, just that when you try to compare Winds of Creation (the young Polish outfits debut recording) to it's follow-up, you just can't. The differences are staggering and the superiority of Nihility isn't subtle whatsoever. I half expected The Negation to be the “be all end all” of the new crop of death metal. And it is better than the majority of the American scene, but that's also not saying much of anything as that scene has been struggling for quite some time to find more of an identity than “Sick!” and/or “Brutal!”.
It IS a strong record on it's own but just short of the goal it should and could have achieved. The production is better this time around in general do to a slightly more natural, less robotic drum sound. The guitar work is scalpel sharp, flawless and has a vibrant, lacerating sound. The bass while still buried does lay down a thicker more noticeable bottom end that Nihility was nearly void of. The vocals are even more rabid and aggressive than before. Finally it seems that Sauron is comfortable with himself, and while many seem to think his vocals are the weak link in the band I would disagree. Picture Frank Mullen (Suffocation) without resorting to nearly doubling himself over to achieve ultra brutal, drill sergeant like, merciless vocals.
The riff/drum play off is beautiful at times and on the track Sensual Sickness they (Vogg and Vitek respectably) create a twisting, uneasy, almost disturbing atmosphere most bands wish they could come close to creating. And on Three Dimensional Defect Decapitated opts for a neck snapping, punishing way of abusing the listeners ear. The lead work is also more apparent now, as nearly every track has at least one solo that truly stands out as well crafted and finely honed. An excellent stand out Lead section belongs to the title track, a grooving, “head nod” rhythm riff accompanied by seemingly endless double bass, a good way to prepare the listener for the next track. Which even after multiple listens is still my favorite track, Long Desired Dementia is a rabid, unforgiving, thunderous, “18 Wheeler Stuck in Overdrive” juggernaut of unstoppable death metal power and rage. Although it ends all too quickly without a true climax it's still one of the groups most overpowering songs. It's brilliantly followed with a slower paced album closer in The Empty Throne, a band comparison is on the tip of my brain, but Decapitated here and elsewhere on this (short) long player do a grand job of keeping me from doing just that. This of course leads one to believe Decapitated may be *gasp* “original”! An opinion that would be correct, and that is why they deserve to be where they are at in the spectrum of it all. Decapitated has quite the attention directed their way and it's because they deserve it, they aren't just talented but they have a keen ear for writing strong material. Of course the album doesn't really end there. As a special treat Decapitated covers one of my early death metal favorites Deicide's Lunatic of God's Creation.
Now, back to my other, less enthusiastic feelings towards this release. As good as this is it should have been that much better, Decapitated let me down this time. Although each song on it's own is excellently executed and near flawless in design and composition, the overall feeling after the album is finished is that of “damn near forgettable”. Furthermore once the “instrumental” track and Deicide cover are removed, it's only 7 new titles and not even a half hour of them!
I had hoped for more, I wanted the farm and was only given the cows, one tractor and most of the barn…I wanted a rib eye steak and I was given a cheeseburger…I wanted Symbolic and was given Spiritual Healing. I wanted the next “HOLY SHIT THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!!” and was given “it's really good”.
Better luck next time guys, I still love ya! I just love Nihility more than The Negation.
Polish death metal blasters Decapitated return from the pits of Hell with a vengeful new album appropriately titled The Negation. Decapitated pave the way for a new wave of death metal that brings back, not only the technicality of their past albums, but brutally severs the skulls of the non-believers. The incarnated solos are melodic, and the riffing is savage. The Negation, which is the band’s third full-length with Earache Records, features amazing production and a refined death metal sound that one cannot find within today’s other newer acts.
The opening track on is titled “The Fury”. It blasts in with a crushing rhythm guitar, followed by the entrance of Sauron’s powerful, grave-driven vocals. The whole song is a death metal menace, and possibly one of the most forceful tracks on the album.
In a quick second after the abrupt end of the opening masterpiece, “Three-Dimensional Defect” makes a deadly entrance. This track is more of a melodic death experience, due to the fusion between the kick drum and the pummeling guitar rhythms. A Carcass-esque solo opens up the doors to a melodic side of the song, where you notice most of the experimentation crammed into about three mind-blowing minutes.
I don’t think too much of “Lying and Weak”, because as any death metal fan will notice, the first two tracks are purely amazing. However, this third track has its ups. At one point before the melody changes and the beat sets back, you could almost hear Sauron’s throat bleed. This song is heavy, no doubt… but it just misses the proper hooks. “Sensual Sickness”, the fifth piece, is an impressive lesson in speed. The break towards the end of the song makes it seem as if the blasphemous chant is over, but instantly carries its due.
“The Calling” is a short 77-second instrumental break that reminds me of the words “lost in a wave to find yourself”. It is a very enthralling opening to the title track “The Negation”, which is just over five minutes long. Riffs dominate the entire anthem, beginning to end. This track screams at any sort of purity and belief, just visible by Sauron’s style of singing.
“Long Desired Dementia” comes seventh, but it lacks everything from hooks to proper blastbeats. It should have been excluded off the album altogether because this is one song I will skip over next time I listen to the album.
Finally, the last rough masterpiece “The Empty Throne” unleashes Hell before the listener. This is the slowest of all, but the beginning of the song reminds me of Morbid Angel and later, Roots-era Sepultura. This is a brilliantly-composed true death metal song, a perfect conclusion to an album that should win any receptive metal fan’s respect. This is Decapitated at its best, in an era of morbid beauty and mayhem.
After being a fan of Decapitated since their earlier releases, I decided to buy this one thinking it would be in the same tone, musically and lyrically as the others. To my surprise, it was not. Actually, on the previous albums I was sure they were death metal, but they sound more like thrash on The Negation. Anyway, this is not a bother, but I noticed that musically, they seem to have degressed, and in some ways, also advanced.
For one, the guitarwork is very dark and angry, with very minor guitar riffs on many of the songs. It also seems very choppy, as the guitarist hardly hits any chords or notes that are longer than a quarter beat. Therefore, after a while it all begins to sound too repetetive. Nevertheless, it is very powerful and a major advocate to Decapitated's sound.
The drums are not anything special, just a lot of double-bass work and plain, robotic beats that tend to lose their effect after a while. Overall, the drums don't sound as mechanical (though I like them) as their previous albums, which is fine because the drummer is still a great one and adds huge class to this band.
Perhaps the biggest flaw on this album is that the vocalist growls some of the choppiest ever. He hardly growls and lets it ring for more than a 4-beat measure, and that's being generous. Not only that, but he literally sounds the same on the duration of the ENTIRE album. He never changes his pitch or does ANYTHING special with them. It's like a bull dog barking at you that won't shut up.
The bass...I wouldn't know. I can't hear it if I put full bass effects to do so.
The bonus track at the end didn't do anything to lift my spirits, especially because it sounds just like all the other songs with the exception of technicality.
This album is nothing new, and shows nothing innovative as their past efforts have. Still, I didn't grade it on that. I just graded the album itself. Genuinely, The Negation is only alright.
"The Negation" is the third full length album put forth by the Polish extreme Death Metal band Decapitated. In a few short years the band has made quite a name for itself after putting out a very important Death Metal album "Winds Of Creation." They proved themselves to be among the most talented of the genre. "The Negation" starts out at a intense fast pace and slows down towards the end, but still keeping a brutal tone.
"The Fury" starts off with a semi-interesting intro then quickly jolts into high gear. The track name suits the song very well as the nonstop fury of the guitars and drums beat your face in and shatter your ear drums. This track is a perfect intro to the cd. A+
"Three-Dimensional Defect" takes a more structural approach. I dont think i have ever heard vocals fit more perfectly with the music than in this track. Sauron's vocals have greatly improved since "Nihilty" (not saying they were bad then, just better now). The double-bass in this track stands out and provides great structural brutality. This is my favorite on the cd. A++
"Lying And Weak" kicks up the speed and the cd becomes increasingly brutal. This track follows the same pattern as "The Fury", intense, pounding, unstructured...DEATH! To me, as good as this track is, doesnt stand out as being anything unique, but it does add more meat to the cd. A-
"Sensual Sickness" enters in a slightly slower pace than the previous track. This track changes tempo a good number of times, switching from fast to slow and has a decent solo thrown in the mix. So far the best thing about this cd has been nonstop guttural vocals. At about 2:42 the song just stops, and then changes. Interesting. A+
"The Calling" a nice semi-creepy instrumental that gives your neck and brain a rest from all the headbanging. Keeps the cd from getting lame. but its an instrumental so it gets an N/A
"The Negation" starts out in a slow pace then speeds up on Sauron's commanding voice. An early off-beat solo is thrown in around the 1 minute mark. This track proves that even slower songs can be heavy and brutal. Sauron's voice almost perfectly matches this song as well, but not quite as perfect as "Three-Dimensional Defect" A-
"Long-Desired Demetia" picks up the pace once again and puts forth some of the fastest double-bass blastbeats on the cd. The odd sounding squeaky almost guitar riffs accompained by the devestating vox of Sauron make this one of the best tracks on the cd. A+
"The Empty Throne" seems to me to be just a blah track. It lacks a unique feel to it. Heavy and brutal yes, but extremely out matched by its preceeding track. C+
"Lunatic Of God's Creation" gives off a feeling of anger. Sauron's voice has been consistantly brutal throughout the entire cd but only in this track does he seem just down right pissed off. A good closer to the cd. A-
Overall a great, great cd. Any Death Metal fan would be pleased.
First off. I've seen a lot of people on various messageboards whining and moaning about how Decapitated have made a bad album.
How 'The Negation' is anything like a "bad album" is beyond me, as this album is the result of the evolution Decapitated were destined to take.
Admittedly it's not quite as high up there in terms of the potential and anticipation surrounding any Decapitated album, but The Negation burns with an intensity and fury unmatched by any death metal album I've heard for a while.
From Sauron's gutteral bark, more focused yet still volatile, to the dazzling riffs and guitar work of Vogg and the precision drumwork of Vitek (not to mention Martin on bass); this album seethes and twitches like a bull terrier on a chain, dying to sink it's teeth into anything that gets too close.
Quite simply these songs are aural incendiary devises.
Admittedly, there are some slightly iffy decisions, particularly the inclusion of a far too interruptive shoddy instrumental slapbang in the middle of the album, but the crystal clear production and wanton destruction inspired by the music played live is more than enough to warrant closer inspection.
Yes, it doesn't have as much out and out groove as say Winds Of Creation, but this takes the groove and translates it into a far more effective and brutal language.
Those that don't like it, more than likely can't stand the intensity.
If you like death metal the way death metal should be played, buy this album. If you like death metal Gothenburg style, stay aware on pain of death! this album is not for the weak.
After a bit of feedback, opening song “The Fury” busts out of the speakers with blatantly triggered drums and vocals that immediately leave a bad taste in my mouth. What the hell happened to the vocals? I much prefer Sauron’s guttural delivery on “Winds of Creation” to his throaty bark on “The Negation.” Sauron actually had some personality on “Winds of Creation,” but here he just sounds like a facsimile of Glen Benton circa “Once Upon The Cross.” If you can make it past the vocals, you’re in for a treat because Vog’s solos are technical, memorable, and unique; they’re also the highlight of “The Negation.” Next up is “Three-Dimensional Defect” which is one of the better songs on the album. The drums and guitars are tighter than Michael Jackson’s cock in a little boy’s colon. The third and best track on “The Negation” entitled “Lying and Weak” starts with a killer thrash riff, and is followed by a main riff that is EXACTLY what Decapitated should be doing throughout this album, and what they did do on “Winds of Creation.” So naturally, after reaching the peak of “The Negation” the only place to go is down. Things begin to drop off a bit with “Sensual Sickness.” The first two and a half minutes of this track are forgettable blasting, but towards the end things pick up slightly and the songs manages to finish strong. That brings us to the most disappointing track on the CD, “The Calling.” When I first bought this and looked on the back of the case I got my hopes up that Decapitated had made an instrumental that rivaled Seputltura’s “Inquisition Symphony” or Death’s “Voice of The Soul,” but instead it’s a minute of feedback. Apparently “filler” is one area where Decapitated hasn’t learned any lessons, because this time it’s in the middle of the album as opposed to the comparably crappy filler track that mars the end of “Winds of Creation.” Whatever you do, don’t press the stop button yet because “The Negation” is about to erupt with a very cool intro, reminiscent of “The Fury.” It has some nice mid-paced riffs, one of the best solos on the CD, and is a welcome respite from all the blasting. This song shares a lot in common with “The Empty Throne,” which follows a similar, but affective formula. Another one of my favorites from “The Negation” is “Long Desired Dementia.” It’s got some riffs that are evocative of the eminence found on “Winds of Creation,” I just wish the triggered drums didn’t overshadow the guitars because Vog’s riffs are truly spectacular on this song. Closing out “The Negation” is “Lunatic of God’s Creation” which fails to live up to the Deicide original because of the vocals and sterile production. One listen to this song reveals how much Glen Benton’s demonic vocals and devilish atmosphere added to Deicide’s S/T.
In conclusion, the major faults of this album are the insipid production and plebian death metal vocals, both of which have diminished the band’s individuality that was prominently portrayed on “Winds of Creation.” At times the straightforwardness of the songs and the monotone vocals make “The Negation” sound like generic death metal, which is an insult to a band with this much potential. Decapitated has mentioned in interviews that they were trying to keep things less technical for this record, as their uncomplicated material (that’s a relative term) has apparently garnered more interest from the head banging masses. That’s definitely a downside for those whose chief attraction to “Winds of Creation” was the catchy, technical riffing, which is noticeably absent on “The Negation.” Although the skill level of the band members has improved, Decapitated’s overall sound has depreciated. Even though the riffs are as a whole less technical, there are still plenty of fist pumping moments to be found, and Vog’s solos are some of the best in modern death metal. This record is still better than the vast majority of death metal being pumped out right now, but it’s nigh impossible to not be disappointed with this album after the magnificence of “Winds of Creation.” If you’re a fan of Decapitated I would still recommend giving this album a shot, but don’t expect anything groundbreaking.
So I downloaded a promo version of The Negation, with no bonus track. I thought I would review it song by song.
The Fury - Starts off with a some light pounding of something or other...you just know its about to get heavy. Then it does just that...20 seconds later, crunching guitars are blaring, cymbals smashing, drumrolls, and blasting. The song slows down a bit, but not for very long, then back to fast riffage and double bass drumming. The vocals kick in, sounding fucking great. With 2 guitar solos in the song, this is a great start to The Nagation.
Three-Dimensional Defect - Lots of open string muted guitar riffing to begin with, and throughout most of the song. This song has a lot of slower guitar riffs and drum parts than the first song, but a lot of the drumming is quite fast while the guitar stays slow, making it sounds really heavy.
Lying And Weak - Even more brutal and faster than the last 2 songs. It stays this way untill about the halfway mark where it slows down a lot, and pumps out some riffage almost impossible to not headband to. Then the song circles around and repeats the other riffs for a little while.
Sensual Sickness - Starts with a solid riff and double bass drumming. When the vocals start off the guitars only play a couple of chords, then the barrage of palm muted riffage is continued. Heavy stuff. Halfway through the song everything stops for a couple seconds, then a strange riff is played, which really doesnt seem to fit the song, untill they get back to the main riffs, and it clicks in.
Calling - An instrumental, just some eerie sounding feedback. It is unnecessary but I suppose it's to build up for the next song...
The Negation - Has quite a long solo early on in the song, and contains some of the stronger riffs of the cd. At the midpoint, the guitar goes crazy with hammer-on/pull-off type riffs, while the bass and drums work together. Incedible. This song helps show how talented these guys are, very technical and proficient.
Long-Desired Dementia - Blasting...as expected. Heavy as hell.
The Empty Throne - Last song, more of the same. At this point I would like to be reading the lyrics.
I didnt really have real super high expectations for this, I assumed it would not be groundbreaking or anything like that, and knew it wouldn not be better than Winds of Creation, but Decapitated have not let me down. While its nothing new for Decapitated, or death metal, its a worthwhile listen. Just over 30 minutes, its short, but I think if it were any longer it might just start to get repetative (for me at least). I better mention the high quality production as well, although upon several listens, I feel that the drum sound is weaker than that of the last 2 albums - 76 %