Decrepit Birth - Polarity

11 songs
38:29 minutes
***** ****


Normally I wouldn’t associate California with death metal, a genre we are more used to getting from the USA’s Eastern parts. This prejudice didn’t prevent Decrepit Birth to start in 2001, releasing their debut soon after. Frequent line-up changes slowed down their career, but things must have improved since then as the band’s third album Polarity came only two years after its predecessor.

There is probably no such thing as a West Coast death metal sound, and Decrepit Birth don’t hide that they have been strongly influenced by the Florida school. What speaks for the Californians is that they don’t just emulate what they know, but add a progressive depth to their music which is unparalleled. Nowadays extreme progressive music can mostly be found in the math metal subgenre, but you won’t hear any such trendiness on Polarity. Instead we get fast paced, ultra-brutal death metal that still somehow always finds room for melodies. The frequent guitar solos are sublime, to say the least, combining speed and virtuoso in a way hardly ever found in such an extreme music.

Starting with the six and a half minute long (A Departure Of The Sun) Ignite The Tesla Coil, the listener gets right from the start a good taste of what these musicians are capable of. Packing countless ideas, riffs, breaks and guitar solos into this epic monster, Decrepit Birth make sure that their audience will be hooked from the beginning. From here on, things progress accordingly. Nearly constant supersonic speed may become tiresome with other bands, but in this case, there are so many intricate melodic to discover that you don’t have time to become bored. Unfortunately the album ends already, not even forty minutes, and the last track is even a two and a half minute long instrumental outro.

As some of the best metal albums of all times have been rather short, we shouldn’t see this as a criticism. Decrepit Birth have come up with a highly mature technical death metal album that has the potential to even reach people outside their target audience. Open-minded progressive metal fans should get an adrenaline rush in face of this incredibly skilful performance, provided they make it past the harsh genre typical vocals.

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