Acephalix sifts through the filth and muck of old school death metal by carving out their own crossroads where Autopsy meets Entombed and the Swedish HM-2 brigade. Decreation has a bit more groove and swing in its pockets than you would expect though, and opener “Upon This Alter,” despite having all the requisite guitar squeals and borderline unintelligible grunting pops with a killer hook in its chorus.
“Suffer (Life in Fragments)” opens with the cymbals counting off the sixteenth notes as the riffs moves in quarter chunks before blasting into more traditional territory. I love it it when songs do this, dividing the time differently between instruments -it adds a ton of tension to the track, and when the songs gets more driving it presents a nice relief. Brutal guitar tone too – a little way in the solos goes down nicely. “Mnemonic Death” gets that Slayer opening just right, and the drumming by Dave Benson moves everything along at a great clip.
Hitting the second side, “Excremental Offerings” feels about what you would expect it too. The riff have a queasy, off-kilter vibe that never feels quite right, and in this context that’s a good thing. There’s also a faint Six Feet Under/Haunted vibe in the way “Egoic Skin” just chugs along. There’s not a vast range to Dan Butler’s vocals, but his delivery matches the music perfectly, and when he really locks in those grunts hit you hard.
I’m not going to say that Acephalix are doing anything that hasn’t already been done in the last 30-odd years, but the groove and execution make Decreation a quick grab when I want that kind of music in my head, and I don’t want to have to deal some of the shitty production some of the more “classic” albums have. Note that I had this on my 2017 Honorable Mentions list for Nine Circles, which you can read here.
When I first starting collecting vinyl a little less that a year ago, my primary impetus was to grab older stuff, music recorded analog that I though would naturally feel more at home on a turntable that sitting as a digital file on my desktop or on a disc. Decreation was one of my earliest modern metal purchases, and though I haven’t found this to be the case with every vinyl, there’s definitely a subtle change to the overall vibe of the vinyl versus my digital file (ALAC purchased via Bandcamp). Secondary bonus is the lyric sheet that came with the vinyl. You don’t want to miss the subtlety in lines like “Eat the skin/ Eat the mental / Eat the skin / East your ego…”
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