Saturday, November 13, 2010

DECREPIT BIRTH – Polarity CD review

Nuclear Blast Records

Oh no I’m reviewing a Tech Death band’s release so as usual I’m gonna hate it then go on some demonizing rant right? Ah no on the contrary I actually like DECREPIT BIRTH in fact I think they’re at the top of this sub genre of Death Metal. I place em at that level because they can actually write songs which have fuckin melodies along with technical proficiency. They’re not just another babysitter for wet shit, butt pissin people with attention deficit disorder which is what I consider most Tech Death to be. In all honesty I wouldn’t mind if they dropped the some of the tech brutality and the trigger drums because they sound fuckin fantastic when they are not in that mode. I know that would make em into a simpler sounding band but what the hell just listen to those melodies.

Guitarist Matt Sotelo is criminally underrated whenever someone wants to drag out their listings of great guitarists in Metal. Hey look if you take out all the past greats and concentrate on who’s actually doing something in the present tense then I’m placing him in the top five. Another thing which needs mentioning is the Chuck Schuldiner/DEATH references whenever something is written up (articles, interviews, reviews) about this band. Their 2008 release, Diminishing Between Worlds, was worthy of every critical acolyte it received. One thing DECREPIT BIRTH doesn’t deserve is the constant comparisons which I believe are only used to diminish their own greatness. Look, Schuldiner and DEATH had their day but they’re gone. If you can’t live with that indisputable truth then I suggest walking in front of a bus tomorrow. Hey guess what, everyone has influences and DECREPIT BIRTH is not painting by the numbers.

Now while I step down from my soapbox and wait for the check from Nuclear Blast let me tell you that Polarity is this band’s best work, so far. Yes I do believe the door needs to be left open for more. Polarity is simply a pleasure for anyone into actual listening. To reference particular songs would be a disservice to the release as a whole. I’ll just say that if you listen carefully to the simply crushing arrangements and extreme tempos which change lanes faster then a New York cabbie. Not only does guitarist Matt Sotelo makes things sound effortless but the clarity with his solos is to me impeccable. To me most Tech Death sounds like turning on the radio and spinning the dial as if the musicians involved suffer from tourettes syndrome. This band does it as well except you can actually latch onto melodies as they explode out of nowhere but won’t leave you dizzy.

As far as the rest of the band well that’s where the interesting part comes. Bill Robinson has that “everyman” death metal growl which doesn’t go over the top into exaggeration. That’s another reason why I think this band is at the top of their genre. Since he and Sotelo are the main members of this band it’s hard to look at the rhythm section as nothing more than two guys holding on for dear life. Like I mentioned earlier, the techniques employed in modern technical death metal especially overt usage of trigger drums turns me off as a listener as well as a fan. It’s that “typewriter” sound. As far as the bass playing, with the exception of a few jazz runs, it keeps a good foundation for when Sotelo goes into full shredding mode. Other than that I can’t see or hear anything other than pure greatness on Polarity. It’s definitely one of the best Death Metal releases of 2010.



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