Review Summary: “Decreation” is everything you want and everything you’d expect
There are certain modern death metal albums, when heard, illicit a feeling of "hey, these would have been classics back in the day." These albums, such as Black Death Horizon
, and Starspawn
pilfer from the 90s and early aughts, when death metal was rupturing. Masterpieces from Entombed, Death, Gorguts, et al. were falling like rain. It's no wonder the past five years have seen bands like Obliteration or Blood Incantation who lust after that golden era. Acephalix and its kin, however, have always felt much more vital; a group of musicians who cut their teeth on the classics but wanted something more for themselves. While not a modern classic, Decreation
should be admired as one of the more solid death metal offerings this year.
As solid as Deathless Master
was, the five-year wait for Acephalix's Decreation
has been more than bearable thanks to Necrot and Vastum, with whom the band shares members. Acephalix has repeatedly assuaged fans that, no, they in fact had not broken up to pursue other projects. Great news, because Acephalix are a very different entity than Vastum and Necrot, now more than ever.
Aping old school death metal, Acephalix blend Swedish and American sounds together in some predictable, albeit successful, ways. The guitars are clean and the drums have been beefed back from their d-beat influenced days. Bass is toned down, segregating the album from the murky hell that is Vastum. What remains is filtered classic death metal, purified by punk and crust. One might get whiffs of Celtic Frost or Motorhead, even.
Influences aside, Decreation
isn't a bevy of fresh-takes or ingenuity. It's death metal in 2017, which means it's either diluted for the sake of trying something new, or it means that it looks sternly towards the past. Acephalix are of course the latter. Loving attention has been paid to their older sound, of crust and hardcore, but it still wears its old-school badge proudly. It is here that Decreation
earns admiration. For all its "been there, done that" feeling, Acephalix feel wholly confident; satisfied of their illustrious pedigree and what they have given to the genre they love.