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Covan? No problem, man! - 85%

LedriTheThane, November 4th, 2014

In 2005, the almighty vocalist of Decapitated, Sauron, has left the band. I'm not sure on the reason why honestly, but this brought a rift in the classic Decapitated lineup. With Vogg, Vitek, and Martin remaining, they recruit Adrian "Covan" Kowanek. This guy basically came out of nowhere (although he was in past metal bands I've never heard of) and took over Sauron's job easily. I can't say I prefer Covan's vocals compared to Sauron's, but I do like them. Even though I personally think they're weaker harsh vocals, the music steps up quite a bit, making a much wanted improvement from The Negation. Together, they created Organic Hallucinosis.

First off, I never pointed out Decapitated lyrics in past reviews, mainly because they never interested me enough to talk about them. I mean, they're really good at being scary, and sometimes edgy, but it's not necessarily that important to me when it comes to extreme metal music in general. The reason why I'm mentioning the lyrics now is because of the song "A Poem About an Old Prison Man." The lyrics for this were written by Charles Manson. I'm pretty sure this band isn't the first to use poetry or writings by some real life lunatic, and maybe even for Charles Manson himself, but I think it's really awesome that Decapitated did this. Death metal is about being scary, obviously, and what way to be as scary as possible than to use the writings of an insane old convicted murderer for lyrics? I thought this was a pretty cool feature.

Now onto what really matters... the music.

Overall, I felt like the songwriting has greatly improved from the last record. The Negation really seemed to focus on groove/brutality, and not so much technicality. Organic Hallucinosis switches that around, and does it for the better. There's so much more life to this album, and it brings their technical death metal to a peak.

Back to talking about the vocals, Covan replaced Sauron. There's plenty of people that probably hated the change, and many that didn't absolutely hate it, but still prefer Sauron. I'm a part of the latter. However, I still really enjoy Covan's vocals. I think he's extremely powerful and he has that right guttural sound. Not only this, but there's actual variety. He does some high screeches there and there, and his regular lower guttural that seems to be apparent mostly. I love variety more than the basic gutturals that Sauron did, but I prefer Sauron's guttural vocals over what Covan had to offer. Despite this, Covan gives an extremely great effort, and he's definitely a great replacement at the time.

Vogg stepped his game up for sure. Not only is the riff game strong, but the lead game and the melodic game is strong too. In all seriousness though, this is probably their best effort when it came to being creative. I specifically want to mention the guitar work on Day 69 and Post(?)Organic. This is slightly different compared to their earlier material, because they're taking on grounds I have yet to hear of. Not saying they're being the most experimental band ever, but for Decapitated's standards, it's different. I've always had a hatred for bad bass mixes. Decapitated really suffered for their first few albums when it comes to this, so I normally disregard Martin as "being just there." For this album however, the bass is finally audible. I can hear it in the mix for once in a Decapitated album. The best part? It's not over the top and fits in just right. Martin actually has a soul now in this band, and he's now worth mentioning.

And the drums, just as good as ever. Vitek throws in astonishing fills, powerful blast beats, and a lot more variation. This is probably his shining moment from an objective point of view. If you're a drummer, take notes. This guy is a beast. His efforts remain consistent throughout this album, and he's able to pull it off with the correct amount of variation. Plus he probably gets the most spotlight on this album than anywhere else. Lastly, it's a shame this was the last album to feature Covan and Vitek. It's a damn shame what happened to them. On a very small, but still shining bright side, at least the last album they did together in Decapitated was killer. RIP Vitek.

Favorite songs:

A Poem About An Old Prison Man
Day 69