Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: 1st September 2011
Label: Hellthrasher Productions
2011 seems to have been a great year for bands returning to that “old school death metal sound”. Albums such as ‘Towards The Monolith’ by DISMA and ZOMBIE INC.‘s ‘A Dreadful Decease’ have already made their marks as bringing back that gritty, heavy sound that sounds eerie and downright brutal, and now there is another to add to the ranks. DECAYING, just barely a newborn band out of a year’s time from Finland, are shining with their full length debut album after a couple demos. Even though there are only six tracks, many of them are gigantic epics; some last up to fourteen minutes. DECAYING will appeal to those who like bands such as INCANTATION, GRAVE, and IMMOLATION. Despite a predictable pattern to ‘Devastate,’ which usually starts out with a short and brutal track before moving on to one of the slower, epic crawlers, it is still very enjoyable.
The faster tracks like ‘Strangled’ and ‘New Order’ are certainly recognizable by the sudden fast rhythms and guttural vocals that lead them (they tend to sound like a better version of VITAL REMAINS’ work before Glen Benton was brought on). Here the IMMOLATION influences can really be heard as they just blast along (but not too quickly so one can miss all the skill behind the music). With a slight distortion around the music, everything is a bit hazy except for the vocals which just cut straight through and sound more terrifying than ever, especially when layered with some of the higher snarls as opposed to the growls. Then other half of the album involves long, slow epics that sound more like doom metal with ‘The Aftermath’ and ‘… To Decay’. Here the chords take long, slow pulls with the bass ringing out like a gong, and it doesn’t get much faster than that. It is a different kind of heavy death metal, but a far cry from the sudden hyperactive ‘Strangled’ which seemed to hit hard like a fist. ‘… To Decay’ prefers a slow death like smothering or drowning. As a result, tracks like these are a bit repetitive and might be too slow to really enjoy the faster head banging qualities, but every once in a while the music picks up again.
The album epic ‘Annihilation’ actually does a great job at balancing of faster parts with the more drawn out bits, and even throws in a bit of a story with some spoken word passages. However, it is mostly long, dragging death metal much in the way that INCANTATION does their work. For those who felt that death metal has gotten far too populated with melodic death metal bits or following deathcore patterns, and lost its ferocity as a result, then ‘Devastate’ is a great listen. It is slow, dark, evil, and demands attention (sometimes for too long at a time). However, all the older traces of bands from 90s death metal are there to keep one entertained- the fuzzy production (but still clear enough so it isn’t demo quality), hypnotic riffs that are catchy at some parts and just brutal at others with the speed involved, and demonic vocals straight from Hell… it is all there. It may not be a perfect death metal album, but for a debut it sounds like a choice cut well above the rest of the mediocre stuff out there.
01. Strangled - 4:55
02. The Aftermath - 11:11
03. As the Fire Burns - 5:44
04. Annihilation - 14:19
05. New Order - 4:18
06. ...To Decay - 11:29
Matias Nastolin - Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Benjam Lahdenpää - Drums
Henri Hirvonen - Guitars
Total: 8.5 / 10