After the tragic death of drummer Witold "Vitek" Kieltyka in 2007, revered Polish technical death metal band Decapitated continued to push forward and honour his memory with top-notch albums — first with 2011's Carnival Is Forever, then with 2014's Blood Mantra and now once again with their latest release, titled Anticult.
The band's seventh album to date finds guitarist and sole original member Waclaw "Vogg" Kieltyka maintaining Decapitated's signature style while consistently pushing their sound forward. Vogg's iconic guitar tones and technical prowess are prominent throughout the release. Opener "Impulse" features colossal riffs that intertwine with gloomy melodies, while the heavy, groove-filled "Deathvaluation" crushes with catchy hooks and thrashy tones.
Tracks like "One Eyed Nation" and "Anger Line" are blisteringly fast and exceptionally aggressive, yet Decapitated have never been your standard tech-death band — and Anticult is no exception. "Earth Scar" and "Never" showcase more experimental touches, balancing out the heaviness with melodic breaks and progressive song structures. "Amen" is also quite different, ending the release with drudging, sombre tones and a melancholic atmosphere.
Clocking in at 37 minutes, the album is shorter than some of their previous offerings, but it ensures Anticult doesn't repeat itself or overstay its welcome. With new and fresh ideas mixed into their classic sound, Decapitated continue to think outside the boundaries of death metal, while also living up to their influential past. (Nuclear Blast)