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One of the most unprofessional major releases ever - 38%

Noktorn, April 8th, 2010

Wait, isn't Decapitated supposed to be a death metal band? Moreover, isn't that style of music supposed to be focused in brutal? 'Organic Hallucinosis' lacks both of those qualities; yes, there's a superficial quality of 'brutality' in that it has fast drumming and tremolo riffs, but the songs are so haphazardly constructed and awkwardly arranged that I can barely think of this as a death metal album much less a good one. It's no wonder that this album received some backlash from Decapitated fans upon its release, but funny enough, the most maligned part of the album (the vocals) are really not an issue at all. The problem with 'Organic Hallucinosis' is that the songs don't make any fucking sense.

You can kind of get what Decapitated is going for on the first and last tracks; they're the best because they're the most straightforward and conventional. Sandwiched between those two, however, are five tracks which seem cobbled together from any ideas the band had regardless of quality or whether they made sense together. The way the band manages to kneecap itself at every turn is like some bizarre Kaufmanesque performance art; anytime the music begins to gain some momentum, the band will abruptly shift gears, dropping into some ethereal, 'atmospheric' passage, bringing the intensity of the music to a grinding halt. This is sort of like playing the video game 'F.E.A.R.'; you can hear the parts of the songs change and transfer with an audible clunk, so lacking is the compositional elegance. Despite the title, there's nothing organic about this music.

A lot of people bitch about the vocals, and I can kind of see why, since they're essentially a Vaderish shout rather than a full-fledged death growl, but it's really just a kind of Lord Worm/DiSalvo situation: it's appropriate given the overly rhythmic and shifting nature of the release. I can't show so much mercy for, well, anyone else on this album. The band inserts a staggering number of ideas into each song but absolutely cannot make them hang together in a pleasing fashion or even keep some songwriting intensity going for more than thirty seconds at a time without crippling it with a sudden rhythmic change or retarded new riff. Above and beyond this, there are no really killer passages on any of the songs; even the best moments are just marginally above average and in no way befit a band on a major label like Earache.

Most death metal, particularly in the brutal end of the spectrum, relies on a gradual increase of tension before an explosive release, sort of like a roller coaster: you climb up the hill, then you get sent crashing down it. Listening to 'Organic Hallucinosis' is like being on one of those kiddy roller coasters with maybe 6 cars that's themed after a happy dragon or some shit: you climb, and the climb isn't great but you still think 'well, maybe this can go somewhere', but when they send you down the hill the ride operator intentionally restricts the speed so Timmy won't piss himself from fear. We're adults, Decapitated. It's okay to actually be intense and not drop into wafting, ethereal chords multiple times per song.

This is actually markedly worse than most modern death metal (which is already bad) because most modern death metal just adheres to an established pattern and at least succeeds in creating music that makes sense. This doesn't even feel like a failed experiment: it's just as though Decapitated has fully fucking forgotten how to write a song on every level. I have no idea why some people are revering this as a death metal classic; it verges on unlistenability and is arduously long despite its half-hour running time. This just sucks.