Band: Decapitated
Album: Blood Mantra
Genre: Technical Death Metal
Country: Poland
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Label: Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: Ziad Gadou

“Blood Mantra” was released on the 30th of September by Polish technical-death pioneers, Decapitated. Their debut “Winds of Creation”, up to the fantastically produced “Organic Hallucinosis” (2006), took them to the thrones of the technical metal genre. The tragic passing of 23 year old prodigy Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka in 2007 brought their journey to a sudden halt. His brother, guitarist and founding member, Waclaw “Vogg” Kieltyka, disbanded the company only to reform it in 2009 with a fresh line up. “Carnival is Forever”, released in 2011, was a huge change of direction, both musically and lyrically. Despite this drastic shift, the album blew worldwide charts and brought Decapitated back to their rightful place amongst the greats.

“Exiled in Flesh” screamed doom on top of its lungs. The album opening track was a torn scarecrow in an open barren field, waiting for midnight to chase you down and haunt your very existence. “Veins” brought out one of “Decapitated”’s specialties, opening riffs! One can hear the Meshuggah effect ripple prominently in this track. “Blood Mantra” seemed more adamantly extreme than the preceding tracks. Unlike “Veins”, this track had an ending riff guaranteed to grasp your neck for days. “Blindness” and “Red Sun” were the biggest surprises for me, at least creatively. Never has Decapitated’s discography approached progressive standards like these two did. “Blindness” was a great “cool-down” track, with a solo so unexpectedly warm you might just jerk a tear or two.  “Red Sun” seemed to visually create a post-apocalyptic hiatus of death and tragedy. “Instinct” and “The Blasphemous Psalm to the Dummy God Creation” are my personal picks off the album. Picture Pantera’s extended punching arm on the “Vulgar Display of Power” album cover, with steroids. These two tracks left no space for question. These Poles weren’t jests chasing fortune and fame; they were warriors quenching for blood.

These Polish veterans have once again disregarded the norms of music-making and brought forth their own brand of heavy. They persisted in pounding our heads with a consistent album that compliments Carnival is Forever and highlights its own flavor of ugly raw technical-death metal. With slightly less “melodic” drop tuned riffs and a more straight forward song structure, Blood Mantra is quiet simply a great album.


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