(20 Buck Spin / Sentient Ruin Laboratories, 2017)
After taking a rest for a couple of years after their last awesome album “Deathless Master”, one of my favourite ”Crusty” Death Metal bands Acephalix returns with another high quality album.
The musical style of the band is still right there where it was, perhaps even more energetic than before, while being definitely more hard-hitting and of great grades. A combination of slower and mid-tempo Deathliness and D-beats (and even blast-beats), gives room for a more Rocking style, previously heard not so much in Acephalix. In a lot of ways this album is a musical culmination of the member’s other Metallic projects, such as Vastum and Lawless.
All areas of the music are materialized with great skills, without overdoing anything, which would distance the band from its stylistic roots.
The in-your-face strings open Doomy and the Deathly damping and tremolo riffs offer nothing new under the sun, but are 100% loyal to the roots of the craft, spiced with some howling (often very Slayerlike) leads. The guitar-sound is crunchy and heavy as fuck, delivering the band’s trademark riffs.
The beats are performed with great precision to give a quality feeling, while being human and organic enough to appeal to oldschool Death Metal fans. The mixing of the drums works fine as hell as well. The bass-drums are pounding, the snares are hammering, and the rides are pleasantly clanky.
The vocals are as cool and entertaining as ever, going mostly with low growling and grunting, spiced with screams and shouts here and there.
In the past the band’s lyrics have been heavily Influenced by thinkers such as Georges Bataille, and without having read the lyrics of this album, I’m guessing they are similar psychological, philosophical and anthropological observations of the human condition as on the previous albums.
Graced by the magical touch of Greg Wilkinson, the soundscapes of the album manage to be damp, dark, heavy and murky, yet crisp and airy at the same time. The cover art matches the music perfectly, with its gloomy description of a chthonic mental cave full of details.
This album is perfect for all conscious and openminded fans of old-school Death Metal, whom do not object having their sounds a bit more benign and lyrics deeper than the current trends mostly offer. As one song-title of the album points out, ”God Is Laughing”, but the daemons of Death Metal are most definitely sneering and grinning satisfied.