They Say :- There haven’t been many death metal bands as dedicated to the genre as Decapitated. All four of the band’s original members had a good couple of years of music school under their belts. In fact Vogg was in one of Poland’s best music academies studying, of all instruments, the accordion. Decapitated have taken their music school lessons and applied into their own stunningly intense framework.
We Say :- There’s a great scene during the 1987 Brian de Palma movie “The Untouchables” when Sean Connery’s character, Malone, confronts Kevin Costner’s Eliot Ness in Chicago Cathedral and proceeds to give him some experienced advice on how to capture notorious gangster, Al Capone. “He brings a knife, you bring a gun , ” says Connery,” he sends one of your men to the hospital, you send of his men to the morgue. That’s the Chicago Way!” I was thinking about this when listening to Carnival is Forever, the latest offering from Polish death metal mentalists, Decapitated. In the trench warfare of death metal, Carnival is Forever hasn’t just brought a gun, it’s brought an entire arsenal.
In a year of some exemplary death metal releases, Carnival is Forever is, doubting shadows notwithstanding, a masterclass. It is ridiculously enjoyable, outrageously brutal and, to these ears, sets a new quality benchmark in technical death metal. The songwriting is laser focused, the musicianship as accomplished as ever and the overall effect is one of being punch drunk and loving every single scintilla of it.
Opening proceedings with the brutality that is “The Knife”, the effect is akin to being driven around an F1 track by Fernando Alonso but without a seat belt or a crash helmet. Barely a moment to catch your breath before we are hurtled through he maelstrom of technical power provided by “United“. There’s so much going on here, both in terms of ideas, invention and power, its hard to know where to begin in describing its phenomenal qualities. Just when you think ” it can’t get any better than this”, it does. And how.
“Carnival is Forever“, the album’s title track, is the song by which all death metal bands should now be judged. It’s a nine minute masterpiece of brilliant music, passion, pacing, structure and menace. As you might have gathered, I quite like it. It has a stop-start riff that is as claustrophobic and crushing as anything you’re likely to hear this year and I. CANNOT. STOP.PLAYING.IT. It will, or perhaps should, come to be regarded as death metal’s “Master of Puppets” moment.
“404” has that effortless brilliance that the band seem so casually capable of coming up with: “Form your circle pits over here, if you please…” whilst “The Pest” takes the art of the blastbeat into another league. The band leave us with the introspective and quiet peace of “Silence”: it’s a chance to catch one’s breath, to drink in and reflect on what you have just heard. It’s as if the band know we could do with a bit of a rest. It’s a magnificiently moody, self effacing and charming way to exit the metaphoric stage.
I’m not one for holding back on judgements so I won’t: Carnival is Forever is probably the best death metal album you will hear this year; yes it is, stop arguing, it is. File under: face- meltingly brilliant. Untouchable.