Decapitated - The Negation

posted by Greg, Wednesday June 2, 2004 @ 11:32:20 AM

Artist: Decapitated (http://www.decapitated.cjb.net)
Album: The Negation
Release Date: March 9th, 2004
Label: Earache



Rating: 8.5/10

Recommended Tracks: Three-Dimensional Effect, Lying and Weak, The Negation

In the genre of death metal, it's very difficult to establish yourself as a unique act. Just about every single new death metal band since 1991 or so gets compared to either Morbid Angel, At The Gates, or some other forefather of the genre seconds into their first song. Every now and then a band will come along and give a good swift kick in the ass to the genre by doing something new or something heavier and faster than anyone else before them (see the debuts of Maiden, Metallica, Nile, Opeth, etc). Polish death metal fiends Decapitated weren't even born yet when bands like Morbid Angel and Death were busy making their first demo tapes in the Florida swamps, but they are among the most important of the next wave of death metal bands who will look to carry the torch proudly into 2004 and beyond, burning everything in their path with it.

When Decapitated debuted in 2000 with the amazing album Winds of Creation (which I would give a score of a million to and recommend you go get it right now if you don't own it already), the underground metal press chose to focus more on the band member's tender ages rather than the incredible energy and fury with which they played. No one had been making death metal this much fun to listen to in years, yet all anyone could talk about was the supposed gimmickery of the band members' average age of 18 (including a 16 year old drummer!). Decapitated set the bar high for themselves with such an impressive debut, and four years later are still churning out the same high-quality, high-energy straightforward death metal that they were as teens.

Anyone curious about where the future of metal is going need look no further than the sonic fury set loose on this album. Decapitated use their younger age to their advantage, as they seem to play with a youthful spark absent in many of their older contemporaries' recent output (this album absolutely destroys the newest albums from Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, and Deicide, for one thing). It's as if you can feel the energy of their swirling, dissonant guitar harmonies and spot-on blastbeating and double-kicking on the drums. There's even a Deicide cover at the end of the album on the special edition digipak version, in which they take the track "Lunatic of God's Creation" and make it their own.

Why this album loses a few points is for the reason I mentioned earlier - this album is more of a continuation of their first two albums rather than any significant leap forward in terms of sound. The band obviously has a more mature and colder sound now that they've gotten a little older, but these songs are still within the confines of straight-ahead death metal. The album is also a bit short, clocking in at a bit over 30 minutes long.

You won't really care though, as you'll be too busy banging your head to all the awesome tracks on this album. Decapitated have shown they have the talent to absolutely blow the death metal scene out of the water and be known as one of the best ever, but for now you'll just have to be content with some of the best standard death metal you'll hear this year or any other year. Someday soon though, you'll definitely be hearing a new band's debut being compared to Decapitated's outstanding catalog.

- Greg


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