Now that we've had a few years for Carnival is Forever to sink in, the arrival of Blood Mantra sees Polish death metal juggernaut Decapitated clearly on the path they've etched out for themselves. Long a favorite of technical death metal fans worldwide, Blood Mantra continues on with the more melodic and groove laden sound that permeated its predecessor, but still delivers on the brutality & complexity fronts. Though the band might never give us another Nihility, Organic Hallucinosis, or The Negation, I'm sure most will agree that we'll take a Blood Mantra any day of the week.
The current line-up of Vogg (guitars), Rafal Piotrowski (vocals), Pawel Pasek (drums), and Mlody (drums) have created a batch of songs here that pulverize just like vintage Decapitated, but there's an underlying level of accessibility here that's kind of refreshing. "Nest" and the title track instantly grab you with some catchy riffs, blazing drums, and violent vocals that just mesmerize. More furious tunes, such as "Instinct", "The Blasphemous Psalm to the Dummy God Creation", Exiled in Flesh", and the weaving, adventurous "Blindness", show that the band still know how to put together those intricate passages housed within a brutal death metal framework, complete with some sick guitar work and acrobatic drumming. Oddly enough, my favorite cut here just might be the US release bonus track "Moth Defect", a kick ass mix of atmospheric moodiness and bludgeoning Meshuggah-like bashing, the pounding riffs unrelenting in their ferocity and Rafal spewing out some of his most effective bellows on the album.
Though opinions are mixed on the direction Decapitation have gone on their last two releases, I don't mind this dose of extra melody tacked onto their brutal & technical attack. Blood Mantra is damn good, 46-minutes of pure adrenaline, and a heavy metal ride well worth taking.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. Exiled in Flesh
2. The Blasphemous Psalm to the Dummy God Creation
4. Blood Mantra
8. Red Sun
9. Moth Defect-bonus track