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Decrepid – Endless Sea Of Graves

Decrepid
Endless Sea Of Graves
by Dan O'Connor at 14 August 2020, 9:24 PM

What makes a great death metal album? Aggression? Speed? Brutality? Technicality? This answer will be different for everybody. Of course, any quintessential staple of the genre will include all of the above, and then some. UK death metallers DECREPID  have brought all of these elements to their third studio album “Endless Sea Of Graves,” but does the formula breed success?

Applying their trade in the British death metal scene for 15 years now, the five-piece have  crafted 38 minutes of assault filled to the brim with a ridiculous amount of roars, riffs and breakdowns galore. It very much feels like no idea or even a single note was left on the cutting room floor. This sometimes is perhaps a minor hindrance but for the most part, it results in a captivating listening experience which will always keep you guessing at the very least.

Indeed, the strongest quality of this record is the level of musicianship. All five members play their part excellently; The roars and screams of Steve Brennan sound twisted and demented while always controlled, the guitars and bass chug along as ferociously and technically as you’d expect from any top-tier death metal act, and Tom Foran incorporates a myriad of styles from different metal subgenres to provide a blistering performance (even if certain elements of the drum mix lay disappointingly buried too far back in the mix.)  Together, they have composed six tracks that can slide seamlessly from blistering thrash (they did originally form as a thrash band) to passages of groove and doom but make no mistake; this is a death metal band through and through.

Sadly, this progressive composition isn’t immediately evident on the album’s opener “Fields Of Flesh.” While a harrowing minimalistic intro sets the scene nicely (even if it is dragged out a little bit too long), the main body of the song feels somewhat uninspired. Yes, DECREPID can provide the brutal, blast-beat laden fundamentals as if doing so were effortless, but this impressive technicality lacks any truly memorable hooks and relies on riffs that seem just a touch too familiar.

Things thankfully pick up on “Phobos Descent” and “Armoured Apocalypse”  immediately afterwards. The air raid siren-esque guitars wail, lightning-quick drum fills are peppered throughout and demented vocals are implemented excellently While it’s unlikely that many moments from these tracks, or the record as a whole, will truly make the hairs on your neck stand up, it’s impossible not to fawn over how DECRPEID integrate so many different riffs, patterns & tempo changes together in such a cohesive manner. While far too many tech-death bands nowadays are accused of being weird and overly-convoluted for the sake of it, there’s no moment on this album that seems out of place or absurdly manic. “Plagued By Mortality” and “Per Maleficium” found later in the album listing both accomplish the same, even if these songs are slightly less memorable in comparison.

All of this though is merely just the starter before the main course that is the epic 15-minute title track “Endless Sea Of Graves.” Critics might point out it suffers from the same over-bloated, jumbled composition that plagues a majority of metal tracks that dare pass the ten-minute threshold. However, by this point of the album it is obvious that this is very much where DECREPID find their strongest footing. They thrive in chaos and disorder; limits are to DECREPID seem meaningless and non-existent. You could shave off five minutes from the track, but where would be the fun in that? What matters is that the song transitions from moments of savagery to solemnity so skilfully, it serves as the undisputed best display of DECREPID’s talents. Grant them this time to do what they can do, and you’ll find that it feels like the quickest 15 minutes of music you’ve ever listened to.

Grade-A composition and a wide array of styles packaged together under the death metal umbrella make "Endless Sea Of Graves" a very enjoyable record. The riffs and melodies may not be the most inventive or original, but they make up for this in the way in which they manage to bring them all together to constantly create controlled chaos. Even in this sea of graves, there’s plenty of waves to push and pull you into the waters of a distorted frenzy full of life.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fields of Flesh
2. Phobos Descent
3. Armoured Apocalypse
4. Plagued by Mortality
5. Per Maleficium
6. Endless Sea of Graves
Lineup:
Steve Brennan - Guitars
Danny Price - Guitars
Cris Bassan - Vocals
Tom Foran - Drums
Alex H. Studholme – Bass
Record Label: Xtreem Music
     


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Edited 12 April 2021
 

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