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A rule that could use more godliness - 78%

slayrrr666, June 6th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Comatose Music

Certainly taking their time between releases, Turkish brutal/technical death metal legends Decimation have continued to hone their skills in between releases with the now four-year gap between efforts resulting in a minor lineup shuffle along the way. Pruning vocalist Egemun Seyhan so guitarist/bassist Erkin Öztürk can now take over vocal duties in the power trio, the group’s third full-length is released December 9, 2014 on Comatose Music.

Like the majority of groups in this genre, there’s a strong reliance here on employing a tight, swirling series of riff-work with plenty of utterly frenzied and dynamic rhythms here, which are played at rather frantic speeds to the point of being blistering battering rams. The complexity of the riffing and bludgeoning rhythms featured here is where this generates the technical formation of their material, featuring enough challenging patterns that there’s plenty to enjoy for the sheer whirlwind of their playing ability alone while generating the kind of tightly-wound, blasting segments to offer an onslaught of brutality. That more brutal-accented part of their sound drives the music moreso than their technicality as this one really whips up that kind frenzied charge here as the dominant aspect of the music oftentimes at the expense of the rest of the track which seems to be the album’s main failing here. This is more concerned with hammering out brutal sections of the arrangements that it really doesn’t do much at all with the rest of the music here and turns it all into a blinding blur of squealing guitars and blasting drumming that is exceptionally competent in its approach yet doesn’t generate the kind of enthusiasm for itself that it really needed to stand out in the scene. This one really could’ve been given a little more change-up in the riffing approach here to at times distinguish what the actual rhythm at play here is really attempting as it’s mostly buried under the sea of blindingly-fast technical riff-work. On the whole, though, it’s the only real issue to be had here.

Though the album somewhat struggles with its identity as there’s little on display here beyond the lightning-fast and competently-played material, that in itself might be enough to make this appeal quite heavily to fans of the brutal or technical realms of death metal or fans looking for more music from that area of the world, while others should heed caution with this release.

A Poor Effort, but Still an Effort. - 60%

Akerthorpe, December 28th, 2014

Hailing from Turkey is the band Decimation playing a really brutal style of brutal technical death metal. All of the elements are there fore an instant underground classic but instead what we have here is nothing less than a clusterfuck of directionless riffs and drum work. Don't get me wrong, this album wasn't a total loss as there were a couple of high points, but other than that I was highly disappointed in what I heard on this release. It looked promising and the lyrical content had my attention as did the song titles, but that's a whole other story right there. I'm really not hard to please when it comes to music, and I really do not like to run bands into the ground if I don't like them, but this release really got on my nerves.

The guitarists are really talented and it shows, but in my opinion the display of talent here was directionless and redundant. I picked up on a deeply rooted Origin and Nile vibe and influence where the music is concerned and in some instances, it seems as if the band copies from these influences which makes these tunes tolerable at the most even though they throw originality out the window. I did also notice slight vibes of Incantation and Immolation as well but this was mostly in the drumming and just a tad bit in the guitars. The vocals were another disappointment. I'm not going to totally trash them as they were really deep and guttural, however, they lacked clarity and stopped trying to follow along with the lyrics before the second song was over. Time and time again we have bands that want to print lyrics to their albums but the vocalist mumbles and slurs so much that following along with lyrics makes about as much sense as printing them in the booklets.

The highest point to this album would have to be the production. Everything from the vocals to the drums and everything in between was nice and thick and balanced properly which made this release slightly listenable and enjoyable. Even though the production itself made this release listenable, I feel that the band could have taken a bit more time in the song construction as well as the delivery. I felt that most everything was off here and nonsensical. While it might have been extremely brutal in a chaotic sense, I fail to see what the band was trying to do with this release. Again, don't get me wrong, the talent is there and I feel that these guys have it in them to do a hell of a lot better than this. So, despite the fact that I really did not like this release, these guys have my respect for at least putting forth the effort in this creation. They can only go up from here so, with that being said, I look forward to what these guys have to offer in the future.

Reign of the Brutopian Trope - 67%

autothrall, December 10th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Comatose Music

It's a slick touch to kick off the third Decimation full-length with that mono sequence, because when the stereo brutality arrives, you are likely to experience the most fulfilling moment of the entire album. Not because the rest of it is bad, by any means, but on the whole, Reign of Ungodly Creation very rapidly escalates (or, if you're not into tech/brutal death metal, deteriorates) into one of those records which feels like so much focus is put into its aural presentation as a series of workouts or exercises, rather than a bastion of effective songwriting. Like so many albums of its niche, it is content merely to beat on you relentlessly, but without leaving much of a bruise beneath the surface of the listener's emotions. It will mug you on the street, steal your wallet and bus pass, sure...but not keep you up at night haunted by what you've just heard...

Partially this is due to the large amount of derivation gone into this: the taut, violent death thrashing of the faster-than-mid-paced picking progressions is redolent of Cannibal Corpse in a frenzy. The clinical intricacies play out like a hybrid of Suffocation and ancient Pestilence, and you can season the rest with a lot of Morbid Angel and Deicide influence filtered through a Deeds of Flesh lens. None of that renders the album insubstantial, inefficient or unlistenable, because those are usually considered the 'right' inspirations going into an onslaught like this, but it just doesn't seem that Decimation is ever interested in taking them further or elsewhere, and when it comes down to the raw value of riff composition, most of the 37 minutes of material seems more reliant on form and function above poignancy. It's surely abusive on the limbs and joints of the guitarist's hands, and the drummers entire body, but no matter how busy the riffing gets, so few of the note patterns ascend into anything truly compelling, beyond the few segments where they play the more atmospheric and dissonant chords (often at the beginning of the tunes). The bass is peppy and hectic to collude with the rhythm note placements, but I wish it had a little more body to it, because it might help offset how the album sounded like a scalpel being repeatedly stabbed into plastic and not flesh. The vocals are exactly what you think they will be: incessant gutturals, unforgiving, but simultaneously average.

Lyrically, this is highbrow mystical stuff with wordy song titles like "Psalm Carnage in the Ghoulish Chapel of Gehenna" or "Aberrant Ablution by Filthy Excrements of a Grotesque Crassamentum", and this pseudo-pretentiousness makes it a little hard to discern whether or not Decimation takes this seriously at all or if they're just taking the piss on us. It's like a bookworm's alternate reality spin on the first Morbid Angel album. Musically, though, it's all mechanics...the mechanics of brutality, without the flavor or the personality of the hideous imagery and rock-bottom human depravity that inspired such a genre to form in the first place. The Dan Seagrave cover on this thing is fucking stunning, one of the coolest I've seen all year, but again we've got an instance where the artwork inspires us to think of these ominous, cyclopean dimensions of fear and majesty, and the music itself seems far too grounded into the surgical ward which mass produces a lot of bands with the same sound. You want to enter that otherworldly reality depicted there, with alien beings floating around a horizon of imposing castle towers lifted free of their gravitational anchors, but you get nowhere close.

I don't mean to come down too hard on Reign of Ungodly Creation, because it is clearly a kinetic and competent afternoon spent at the death metal gymnastics, but apart from a few moments in songs like "Mystic Transformation in Encrypted Scrolls of a Grievous Sermon" and "Psalm Carnage..." where the dynamics occasionally hint at something far more frightening, I just felt like the album was running cycles in a hamster wheel or performing endless calisthenics and repetitious lifting regimens, and it never really capitalized on what these musicians are obviously capable of if they just took a few more minutes to analyze what made their own inspirations so damn cool. I've enjoyed albums in this wheelhouse before. I mean, there is a place for stuff like this, and it lives up to those crucial brutal and technical expectations that its targets audience needs to check off the list, dotting its i's and crossing it's. Yet a little more experimentation, a slightly altered angle/vector of approach, and in some cases, measured restraint could go a long, long way for a group like Decimation.