As rain falls, a man begins to read the accusations held against Jesus, said to be the Christ. He claims to be the Son of God, which sends the on looking crowd into a frenzy of anger.
The killing has now begun. Suddenly an onslaught of furious guitar riffs, psychotically fast drumming, and monstrous growling. Dechristianize
is the product of over a decade of hard work and determination from one of Americaís finest death metal bands. While Europe may seem to be dominating the worldís current metal scene, Vital Remains has retained an aptitude for creating old-school death metal while sparing nothing of the technicality or brutality that metal has adapted to. For over an hour Dechristianize
unrelentingly rips through blaring insanity, astonishing instrumental talent, and devious intertwining of melancholic breaks.
Vital Reaminsí newest album grabs you by the throat from the first second. If Let the Killing Begin
didnít grab your attention, featuring a raging storm as Jesus Christ is sentenced, then you donít belong here. You may not belong in extreme metal altogether. Vital Remains is one of metalís most adamantly anti-Christian bands to have ever existed (in case the album title didnít say it all), and none of their music is for the faint of heart. This album from the fateful 2003 leaves no doubt as to why it is the most famous of all Vital Remains albums, mainly for three reasons. First of all, the album art/theme. The title itself is offensive. The cover supposed to ďcensorĒ the cover depicting disciples raping women features Christ dying on the cross with inverted crosses atop of it. Second, not only have they finally received a well-deserved larger label, but they also recruited Glen Benton of Deicide fame to handle all vocal duties. Bentonís vocals range from a piercing shriek to ear-shredding growls and fit the intent of the band perfectly.
The third reason: THE MUSIC KICKS AS
S. If I havenít said it already, Iíll say it again. This is over a full hour of cunt-smashing intestinal-blocking death metal. Iíd give specific song examples but every song is applicable. There is no doubt that this is one of death metalís finest assets to date. However, the variation within the music cannot be overlooked.
By reading so far you may be inclined to believe that this is a mindless record of heaviness with no discrepancy. The talent each of these men posses in the field of music does not go without purpose. Founder Tony Lazaroís guitar playing provides an appropriate punch and the backbone on the album. Yet Vital Remainsí biggest edge to date is the acquisition of Dave Suzuki, a musical renaissance man. Not only does he shred all lead guitar lines, but also effortlessly plays all of the complex drumming, and adds the bandís bass. This is no small feat considering the intensity of Vital Remainsí music. The seamless blend of mellow yet emotional sections is what sets Dechristianize
apart from other traditional death metal albums. Nearly every song is riddled with instrumental features to balance out the concentration of violence. The title track Dechristianize
abruptly shifts from searing metal to very emotional, melodic harmonizing of the guitars, similar to that seen in Rush of Deliverence
. Entwined by Vengeance
also features somber Spanish guitar interludes to contrast one of the albums most blasphemous songs.
The track lengths may at first seem intimidating to a listener used to 3-4 minute metal experiences. With the shortest track (excluding the intro) clocking in at 5:45 and the others reaching as high as 10:00, it seems as though Vital Remains may have been pushing the envelope. However, one listen will prove that this is not the case. Tracks are crammed full of the best riffs and most memorable melodies and solos, creating the illusion that a nine-minute oeuvre is a mere few minutes of brief experiences.
Let none fool you. Dechristianize
is one of modern metalís most prized possessions, and has every bit of substance to backup the excitement surrounding it. This album is captivating from start to finish and a must-have for any metal enthusiast. If you feel youíre up for some of the most mind-raping extreme metal of our time, then give Dechristianize
a listen. You will not be disappointed, and you most certainly wonít be left unscathed.
A few recommended tracks:
- Rush of Deliverance
- Entwined by Vengeance
- Fast, heavy, aggressive metal
- Never gets boring; plenty to hold interest
- Plenty of technicality
- Brutality may be tiring
- Song lengths may be off-putting
- Repetitiveness of structures
Enjoy, and by all means, bang your head. \m/