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Decayed – Old Ghosts and Primeval Demons

Old Ghosts and Primeval Demons
by Alex Barnard at 10 August 2021, 9:52 PM

“Old Ghosts and Primeval Demons” is the title of the 14th album by pioneering Portuguese Black Metal band DECAYED. The album was released by Lusitanian Records on June 18, 2021.

I must admit I was unfamiliar with the band upon first listening. I didn’t even realize Portugal had a Black Metal scene! Nevertheless, I am thoroughly impressed. Vulturius’ voice sounds absolutely hair-raising, and his bass playing is simple yet effective and salient. J.A., the sole founding member left in the group, writes incredible riffs, at times sounding like a Black Metal version of Tony Iommi. And finally, G.R.’s drumming ranges from blisteringly fast to slow and brooding, the hallmarks of an excellent drummer.

Some of the highlights from this record include “Rise of the Undead,” which starts with an almost MOTÖRHEAD style pace and drum beat before transitioning into typical blackened madness. A lot of the textures on this album seem to draw inspiration from the Norwegian Black Metal scene in particular. For example, the haunting keyboard melody that plays throughout most of the third song, “Condemned to Hell,” sounds reminiscent of the sounds on early EMPEROR records like “In the Nightside Eclipse.” “Dead Choir Halls” follows, with sections of thunderous thrashy drumming and a solo containing just the right amount of dive bombs (take notes Kerry King! Just kidding lol). “Nocturnal Creatures” has an almost doomy feel, with its triplet rhythm and CANDLEMASS-esque keyboards. Vulturius’ singing is especially hellish on this track.

“Grim Prophecies” is a speed trip of a tune, with J.A.’s riffing sounding at once epic and chaotic. “Cold and Dark” is another banger, with its evil feel making it sound like a leftover demo from MAYHEM’s classic “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. And last but not least, the group’s cover of the VENOM song “Manitou” was truly excellent. Vulturius’ vocals truly do justice to the brutish screams of Cronos.

Overall, DECAYED have proven to uphold its title as legend in the Portuguese Black Metal scene with “Old Ghosts and Primeval Demons. The production sounded polished yet not too pristine, which is absolutely perfect for this style of music, and of course the musicianship was superb. I’m sure DECAYED will continue to build upon its legacy with future works if this is how the group sound 14 albums in!

Production: 8
Memorability: 5
Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Damned Souls (Intro)
2. Rise of the Undead
3. Condemned to Hell
4. Dead Choir Hails (The Birth)
5. Nocturnal Creatures
6. Grim Prophecies
7. Old Ghosts and Primeval Demons
8. Cold and Dark
9. Perpetual Slumber
10. Spell of the Gorgons
11. Manitou (Venom Cover)
12. Fallen Angels (Outro)
13. Ritos de Iniciação
J.A. – Guitar / Vocals
Vulturius  – Vocals / Bass
G.R. – Drums
Record Label: Lusitanian Music


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