Setting out with a retro vision of death metal glory alongside a punk sensitivity, Acephalix erupted into the scene with their debut album Aporia. Primitive and relentless, the band appeared to have instantly captured the essence of the genre with their debut record, something that was apparent even more on their sophomore album, Deathless Master. Punk influences begun to subside and the death metal aura was becoming more prominent, as Acephalix were balancing between the raw sound of the Swedish scene and the aggression of the Florida bands.
A hiatus followed in 2011, but thankfully it did not last long with the band returning with Decreation, a record that carries down the heavy path. The groove and attitude of the late '80s and early '90s is the first aspect that comes through in the devastating “Upon the Altar”, something that is further highlighted by the hellish lead work featuring the characteristics of the Left Hand Path. On the other hand, the brutality and slithering riff work of the American death metal scene is also vibrant in this work, resulting in some devastating performances in the likes of “Suffer (Life In Fragments).”
Acephalix understand their strength and know how to maximize the impact of their sound by relying on the elements that make their music so enticing. The control over the tempo is one of these aspects, where the band for the most part takes on a mid-tempo groove, bringing them closer to the lineage left by the great Celtic Frost. Invoking such practices at moments like “Egoic Skin” see them travel back in time, to a very sonically different era. The outbreaks are still present however, as the band picks up the pace and performs some lightning fast assaults when the music reaches a crescendo. The guitars are shrieking in their paranoid delivery, taking on the thrashy and proto-death metal schizoid characteristics, which were so masterfully used by acts like Slayer and Possessed.
The dissonant touch also coincides with the punk heritage that Acephalix display. The drumming is the prominent source of this mentality, moving into the D-beat territory without remorse and bringing more energy to the front. Apart from adding to the volatility of the album, it also produces an interesting rocking result, with some very catchy riffs being introduced. In that aspect, the band is quite close to the more immediate and direct grooves of Entombed and Dismember, and their mixture of influences brings forth some of the most intriguing moments of the album, like “Excremental Offerings,” which combines the raw punk-ish tone and rocking form with the Celtic Frost element.
What is enticing about Acephalix is the care they take in constructing a death metal, which displays an almost romantic view of the genre. And even though Acephalix do not necessarily break new ground with this album, their affection for this sound brings an endearing quality to the fold and makes the work sound fresh and filled with passion.
7.6 / 10
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