Back with their eighth full-length album, Decapitated show no sign whatsoever of slowing down. Guitarist Vogg has of course been there since the very beginning back in 1996, while singer Rasta has also been there for more than ten years, but since their last album they have brought in a new drummer in James Stewart. They don’t have a full-time bassist at present, but previous member Paweł Pasek stepped in as a guest for this release, while they also have two guests who each contribute vocals to one track, namely Tatiana Shmayluk from Jinjer and none other than Robb Flynn from Machine Head!

What sets this album apart from much of their output is the sheer diversity contained within. They keep switching tempos so one is never sure what is going to come next, the result being an album that sits strongly within the traditional death metal genre yet keeps moving and changing. The brutal “Hello Death” suddenly loses its bass, we get a lot of finger-tapping and suddenly Tatiana is in there providing clear vocals and then we move into a style which has much more in common with djent. If that were not enough, “Iconoclast” is an absolute stand out with Robb Flynn providing some wonderful clear vocals in the middle which transforms what has been until then a death metal belter. Vogg has been in this band most of his life, and his guitar sound is rich and deep as he continues to drive the band forward, taking them in new directions. The title cut is the first proper song, and it is ear-strippingly fast, yet there is polish within, while “Just a Cigarette” allows Stewart to show he would be just at happy in a grindcore band, yet still provides finesse with some nice nuances around the kit.

They have celebrated their first quarter of century in style, here’s to the next.
8/10 Kev Rowland