Another amazing death metal band from Poland. What I like about the Polish death metal bands is the vocalists are not usually content with the standard intestinal “urrrp urrrp urp urp urp” vocals. If it’s intense that’s great, but you have to give me a word I can understand every now and then, just so I can make sure you are not just singing about doing the dishes. And I often do not get lyrics. However, I can make out their singer lyrics with a reasonable amount of clarity, which provides so much more impact.
This is their sixth studio album and these guys have had their share of hardship with a key founding member dying in 2007, but have shown their commitment by continuing to produce albums that repeatedly raise the bar.
Opening with some of the most clinically precise blast beats and guitar work I have ever heard in exiled in flesh, they are not playing around. This is how you start an album! The next song “Blasphemous Psalm” punishes you with superfast picking and they show they are not just interested in crushing you, but in the fastest, most technically precise way. The singer really turns on his vocal prowess here and sounds like an enraged, lumbering beast. This is already sounding like one of the best death metal albums I’ve heard this year and will easily be in my top five.
The third song “Veins” opens more moderately and at a more mid-tempo pace compared to the rest of the album. No blast beats yet, just a crawling, bludgeoning riff. An impressive display of musicality. The title track “Blood Mantra” also begins with a slower riff, but I particularly like where they take the change at around 3.20. This is brutally heavy and Decapitated shows they are capable of the slow changes that bands in the slower genre’s tend to dominate in. The pace that this band is known for returns at the end of the song, however, and I can see why this is the title track.
Over the halfway mark now with song five, “Nest“. They begin with some more technical riffing and double kick, and these guys are still impressing with some of their slower carvings. The sixth track “Instinct” creates a feeling of urgency from the start, and this track is out to hurt you with some of its dynamics, where the drums and vocals carry the song alone at times. My bruised eardrums are starting to wonder how much more of this they can take. “Blindness” begins with a tribal feel that maintains the tension through most of the piece, showing just how diverse these guys are.
“Red sun” provides an eerie soundscape that brings us to the end of one of the most important albums of this year.
If you were thinking there was no future for death metal bands, listen to these guys because they will change your mind. This is a very solid production with a ton of ideas and some high-level playing. Right now, Decapitated is the shot in the arm that the scene needs.
Release Year: 2014
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Reviewed by Matt