without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Razorback has always had an excellent ear for releasing killer, fun old school death and grind metal. Texans Decrepitaph are no exception to that rule, and while I can't hold this record in such high regard as I would hold other Razorback bands like Ghoul, Frightmare, Crypticus, etc, it's a good time. And this good time is achieved through a delightful simplicity. 100% old school brutal death metal which sounds like it could have come out in 1987.
After a nice sample, "Possessed by Blasphemy" arrives with a wall of Satanic gore. Sludging, punching guitars performing the most simplest of rhythms to the plodding drums. The vocals are primarily guttural, but you can hear some of the snarlier vocals layered in there. "Unholy Crucifixion" is just fucking savage, you have to love that distorted tone on the guitars and bass, and once again, the absolutely lack of pretention, the utter simplicity to what they are doing. The album is quite consistent, but some tracks I'd pick out are "Morbid Ritual", "The Labyrinth of Bones", and the closer "Crawling Out from the Crypt" with its crushing doomy guitars.
This album isn't going to appeal to everyone. In particular, there is nothing remotely technical about it, the band isn't playing a million miles an hour. This may turn off younger death metal fans with a severe case of ADD, but if you remember the early days of Death, Hellhammer, Possessed, and their ilk, and long for bands that can take death metal by its roots and seed an entirely new forest of gore, then Razorback has delivered yet another band you will enjoy.
When the words "best album of the year" come up, at least 3 albums spring to mind. The new Arghoslent was pretty cool, definitely the best melodic death metal I've ever heard. The new Cliteater was fun too, grind like that doesn't come around everyday, at least not in 2008. And Vacant Coffin, released at the same time as this beauty right here. Not to mention Acid Witch, Hooded Menace, and Gruesome Stuff Relish. I could go on. But no, we're here for Decrepitaph. I'm going to have to do my best to give this an objective review. My record label (Poveglia) is releasing their demos, but I don't think that means I can't give an honest review here. So here goes.
Condemned Cathedral is my pick for album of the year. It's quite late. I believe this came out December 18th on the greatest thing to happen to this world since metal itself, Razorback Records. There are times in which I lose hope for death metal. For example, when I heard the latest Decrepit Birth. It saddened me. Where has it all gone? What happened to death metal that was brutal, but didn't have to be called brutal death metal. I'll tell you what happened to it. It moved to Texas and called itself Decrepitaph.
This CD starts out with a sample, something Razorback bands have been disappointing me with lately by not including them. Seriously, what happened to greats like Lord Gore, Frightmare, and Fondlecorpse? All of them had samples, and they were great! I guess it's those damn online reviews complaining about them. Oh well. Anywho, after a sample in which we are told we'll hear an example of this horrible satanic garbage that's destroying America, we do. And oh what an opening it is. The opening riff comes out in full force, with an amazing guitar tone, like Entombed's Left Hand Path crossed with Gruesome Stuff Relish's Teenage Giallo Grind, to compare two entirely unrelated albums. I think it's fitting. The bass is fairly low in the mix. At least I think so. Maybe the guitar is just so heavy in tone that it matches the bass. The drums are perfect, no triggers or any modern bullshit, just beautiful untainted ancient death metal.
Unholy Crucifixion features yet more catchy riffs, incorporating as much death metal as doom. By this point we can tell that Asphyx, Incantation, and several other death/doom giants played a big part in influencing this album. Decrepitaph don't copy them by any means, however. Decrepitaph form a sound all their own with their catchy choruses, droningly slow riffs, intersperced with midpaced and upbeat riffs.
My highlight of this album is definitely A Burial In Hell. The first time I heard this riff was on a demo version of the track put on the myspace. I was absolutely floored. This is without a doubt the heaviest riff I've ever heard. It's like if Black Sabbath and Slayer had a fight with barbells. That's how god damn heavy this is. If you've only heard the demo versions of this album, then you are NOT hearing what truly needs to be heard. The production on this album makes it sound like how all death metal should. Raw, and crushing!
I know it's just past X-mas time folks, and I know some of you were good little boys and girls and Santa may have slipped some money in your stocking. I'm not going to judge you if you don't use that money to buy this album. I'm just going to give you that weird kind of look that parents give you when they disapprove, but they're not really angry. You know, the kind of look they give when they say "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed." That's what will happen to you. Just try looking at yourself in the mirror the next day after not purchasing this album. And believe me, each day gets worse. I'd be happy if another album this good came out in the next 5 years. I'm not liberal with my 100 ratings, so take my word for it. If you like death metal and or doom metal, do not miss out on Condemned Cathedral!