Decapitated - Anticult
Nuclear Blast
Death/Groove Metal
8 songs (37:49)
Release year: 2017
Decapitated, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

A decade after the tragic accident that robbed us of the original lineup of Decapitated, Poland's finest are still knocking out the technical death/groove/thrash/whatever metal that first tugged our ears with 2006's Organic Hallucinosis. A new lineup may be present and the spirit that flowed through albums like Carnival Is Forever and Blood Mantra is there, but it's hard to really detach this modern, groovier version of the band from the original death metal machine; particularly when you realise just how much the original band were experimenting with groove and moving in this direction anyway. As much as we mourn the version of Decapitated that was lost on October 29th 2007, the new version has achieved enough that moving onwards feels more natural than ever, and we can only imagine that Vitek would have wanted the band to keep pushing forward in the direction that it has.

Certainly, there's no denying that Anticult is a step onwards in the path taken with Carnival...and Blood Mantra. The album simply rocks; taking the groove metal technicality of Meshuggah and the sharp thrash aggression of Cavalera Conspiracy and mixing them together to great effect. Still technical and complex, Decapitated in 2017 haven't lost a bit of the intensity that has driven them post-accident, and Anticult is stuffed full of this power. Opener Impulse is a galloping stomper that equally marries the harsh vocals of Rafal and the ever-terrific guitar riffs of Vogg to great effect, managing to drive home the atmospheric punch without lessening the immediate catchy impact of the modern riffs. Deathvaluation is thrashier with a decent solo, but it's Kill the Cult where the album really hits its peak, upping the raging intensity in a blasting thrasher with a great solo. One-Eyed Nation keeps the quality high being moodier and more atmospheric but equally pounding, approaching levels of chaotic noise that would be black metal were it not for the rhythm section - and although I'd like to hear a little more variety from drummer MÅ‚ody, his contribution is expert and supports the music perfectly.

First and foremost, however, this is a band led by the guitarist, and from the more atmospheric pieces like Anger Line to the headbanging tribal stomp of Earth Scar, Vogg is directing the metallic orchestra with his undeniable talent. There's not a bad track present, with the possible exception of Amen, which is a repetitive outro piece and could have been worked over a little more or even skipped, but it's a harsh criticism. I think I've held back from loving this new Decapitated too much as part of a fandom still grieving the loss of the band that produced such masterpieces as Nihility and The Negation; Anticult is the first post-accident album of theirs that I've listened to and enjoyed immediately, without making sneery notes to myself about "style over substance", to quote a past review of mine. If groove metal Decapitated is what we have, then so be it, and having learnt to appreciate the band over a couple of good but flawed albums, it's great to hear them growing with the style and making what is probably their best album since Organic Hallucinosis.

Killing Songs :
Impulse, Kill the Cult, One-Eyed Nation, Earth Scar
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Decapitated that we have reviewed:
Decapitated - Blood Mantra reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Decapitated - Carnival Is Forever reviewed by Goat and quoted 79 / 100
Decapitated - Organic Hallucinosis reviewed by Dylan and quoted 87 / 100
Decapitated - Nihility reviewed by Jay and quoted 80 / 100
Decapitated - Winds Of Creation reviewed by Crims and quoted 85 / 100
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