The longest break between two Decapitated albums has finally come to an end, bearing fruits from trees that seemed out of reach. Waclaw Kiyeltika (AKA Vogg) delivers yet another death metal masterpiece, that reeks of genuineness. If there is one thing that Decapitated has always been able to do, it would be playing straightforward, uncompromising, unraveling extreme metal, and this album follows the same motto.
Cancer Culture isn’t really what fans expected, in the sense that the first single and title track displayed the quintessence of the Decapitated we knew along with the releases and the years, that grooves that get into you, coupled with face-melting brutal straightforward death metal. But the rest of the album shows that the band grew into a more melodic formation, where the tremolo riffing is relentless, and the blast beats are faster than ever. Indeed, James Stewart’s touch is felt on his first record with the polish death metal powerhouse.
Some experimentations here and there, some that were surprising, and which left me skeptical at first: the use of clean vocals is the first try on this release, and if Jinjer’s Tatyana Shmayluk’s vocals on “Hello Death” took some time for me to accept and enjoy, Robb Flynn’s part on “Iconoclast” gave the song a more epic vibe that will probably touch more audience than the usual Decapitated fanbase.
The thrashy touch is still present on some riffs, as well as some other elements, like a slamming riff backed with double bass drumming that makes for a heavy break that’ll crush skulls when it’s played live.
This album is the quintessence of a band that’s maturing and exploring more horizons, trying to expand their audience, and the most beautiful of it all is that “No Compromise” attitude that’s getting lost nowadays in the metal scene, within the quest for fame and fortune. Decapitated is one of those bands that keeps the metal hope alive, and Vogg is an unsung metal hero, who deserves way more recognition for what he’s bringing to the extreme metal scene than he’s getting right now.
Rafal “Rasta” Piotrowski’s growls are more haunting than ever, and you can almost see his veins bursting out of his neck at each vocal line he’s barking at you throughout the album, there’s also no bullshitting content-wise, as the lyrics are stronger than ever, with even a touch of poetry, courtesy of Jarek Szubrycht, who composed the lyrical content of this album.
On behalf of the metal community, I thank Decapitated for keeping the passion alive.
Release Year: 2022
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Reviewed by Oussama EL OUADIE