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Decatur - Badder than Brooklyn - 55%

Voidhanger2, February 8th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Independent

Decatur is a new band from my neck of the deciduous forest, Toronto. They’ve evidently played a number of shows, so I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of them yet, but since I tend to mainly lurk in the shadows of black and death metal shows, there you have it. “Badder Than Brooklyn” is their debut album, and despite the my inner grammar Nazi nagging at me to call this “Worse Than Brooklyn,” it’s actually a pleasant surprise.

Decatur touts that their debut album is produced by Gojira’s Joe Duplantier, and they’re right to do so – this sounds fantastic. Crunchy guitars have lots of impact, the drums are powerful and driving, and everything is mixed at the right level. The playing is tight (almost a little too tight for my liking, but I love early Venom, so…) and heavy, appropriately so for their sound. Jay “Beard” Sarrazin’s harsh vocals can be a little monotonous at times, but the backing vocals offer some variety to offset that, and his energy is infectious enough that it doesn’t hinder the album.

Decatur mix thrash metal with a considerable dose of groove, a formula that stays sufficiently fresh. You want slower numbers with groove? You’ll find them here. How about faster, more banging songs? They’re here too. In its runtime of just over 35 minutes, they cover enough territory to keep you entertained.

When I first heard how clean this sounded, I was convinced I wouldn’t like “Badder Than Brooklyn,” but the songs are too infectious and energetic to dislike. If you want an album of heavy, groove-laden metal with lots of energy, Decatur will scratch that itch. While this may not be something I’ll wind up listening to every day, I can’t deny that “Badder Than Brooklyn” is well-executed and a good time.

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