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Taking the heads off of metal

After 20 years of death metal music, certain elements are bound to get recycled, whether it be members who resurface from one band to another or themes that are derogatory in nature toward religion.

Thus, one may take it for granted when a young Polish band like Decapitated emerges straight out of music school. Upon hearing Decapitated’s first full-length album, Winds of Creation, it could be very easy to write the band off as nothing more than ordinary death metal. But with its fourth powerful release, Organic Hallucinosis, the urge to write them off becomes less enticing.

The main difference is the new vocalist. Long-time frontman Sauron and his low death-grunt vocals have been replaced with new front man Covan, whose voice is quite distinct and comprehensible compared to most death metal singers.

Organic Hallucinosis opens with a poem by the infamous Charles Manson called “A Poem About an Old Man” set to music, with blasting drum rhythms and consonant and dissonant guitar melodies that are played out so fast, that to the ordinary listener, some of the beautiful melodies laid down by guitarist Vogg might be lost.

“Revelation of Existence,” the third track, is harkening back to the glory days of early 90s death metal when groove-based rhythms were emphasized over overtly technical melodic guitar and bass lines.

Track four, “Post Organic,” goes back to the mixture of melody and rhythmic brutality by beginning with the drums pounding out a double bass beat and the guitarist kicking in with a syncopated, distorted rhythm. This leads into a well-developed song structure, with a chaotic interlude of guitars panning in and out of speakers and a mini drum solo.

These are the highlights of the album. There don’t seem to be any low points on the album, unless you include repetitions of blast beats, constant double bass and the vocals being unintelligible, which most people complain of.

For a serious musician, someone with a really keen ear for music or even the average metalhead, Organic Hallucinosis is a departure from ordinary death metal that’s been taken for granted and is an album worth buying.