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This Album Will Tear Your Fucking Face Off - 95%

Unorthodox, August 12th, 2019

The overall tragedy in Decapitated's history is unfortunately not as simple as "the band got in serious car accident, resulting in the early death of their drummer and permanent brain damage of their vocalist". In hindsight, the extra bit of tragedy is the fact that, ever since that accident, Decapitated hasn't been the same band. Not to say I agree with people that detest their later work, because I'll be the first to admit that Blood Mantra, Anticult, and Carnival is Forever are downright fun albums to jam to. However, with Organic Hallucinosis, Decapitated took both their sheer aggression and songwriting to a level they've never been able to make again. It was here that the band grew steel wings and soared far above every other album they ever made.

Firstly, the production on this album is perfect. The tone of the guitar is akin to a medium rare piece of steak- lots of muscle mixed with a good amount of fat, which creates a perfect amount of juiciness. The mids are cranked just right to give enough punch and melodic clarity, the bass in the EQ and the bassist himself bring enough distortion to give an extra pop on the low end, and there's just enough treble mixed in to create a tint of brightness. Finally, the drumming carries the entire band to a whole 'nother level of extremity with the triggered double bass drums and surround sound cymbal hits. The end result of the mix is a sound that is akin to being sloshed through the fucking mud with a chain around your neck. Until it is finished, you are relentlessly attacked by their sound on all sides.

As stated, it's not only the aggression that peaked on this album, but also the songwriting. With the mix built the way it is, Decapitated takes full advantage of down-tuned guitars and goes everywhere on the neck. The production gives enough breathing space to the melodies so that the overall sound avoids a muddled mess of low-end notes. It’s super helpful for the overall songwriting, because songs are not just built on one or two consistent grooves or riffs. They are chaotic and move everywhere, both rhythmically and melodically. The change ups of both rhythm and melody is, in fact, one of the best things about this album. Vitek doesn't just blast away on the drums throughout the entire album, rather, he does a great job periodically opening up the soundscape to let the guitar work breath, while juxtaposing those moments with hard hitting double bass or blast beat sections. The guitar parts created by Vogg also do a great job working with Vitek to emphasize sheer aggression in less melodic parts. Take for example the end of their song “Post Organic”, with perhaps one of the heaviest metal breakdowns from any song ever created. Vitek and Vogg first start from a basic bridge section of the song that is more open and melodic, with the drums allowing the guitars to carry the listener through. The song then goes eerily quiet, and then launches into the breakdown with the guitars and drums simultaneously slamming the listener to down-tuned, monotone chugging. It hits incredibly hard, and the song is structured in such a way so that the plunge into unhampered aggression is perfectly punctuated. This is just one example, but the album is generally filled with a lot of similar moments that do a great job emphasizing the overall aggression via a “push-pull” sort of song structure.

Decapitated went on from this album to produce less complicated, less chaotic and more rhythmically centered groove metal albums. I think they're also fun albums for different reasons, but overall, it's sad to say that this kind of album will very likely never be created by the band again.