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In Memory
Sean Pettibone

Decapitated - Nihility


Wicked World/Earache Records

Nihility marks the vicious and profoundly talented return of Poland's Decapitated, a group that in the past arguably obtained primary notoriety due to the unilaterally young age of its constituent members but which will, with this obliterating release, receive just due as a profoundly accomplished, brutal and incontestably skillful modern death metal paragon.    

Complimentary comparisons to Morbid Angel could be made with the delightfully crushing heaviness which opens Nihility's "Eternity Too Short" or the angry lyrical and aural blast of "Babylon's Pride" when vocalist Sauron bellows, "You're the creator of your own creator!"  But whereas I will admit—may godbelow forgive my egregious blasphemy—that Morbid Angel's last Gateways to Annihilation LP struck me a tad redundant upon consecutive listens, Nihility demands and fully sustains repeated exploration, constantly impressing me as I discover another astonishingly conceived and placed lead by guitarist Vogg or an additional, impossibly implemented bit of brilliant drum work from Vitek.  Nihility's musicianship, both its recital and its recording, courtesy of Hertz Studio, is spectacular.  Once you experience the neck-snapping crunch of "Spheres of Madness," with its floor-punching groove and meticulously executed, gloriously pounding double (sometimes seemingly triple!) bass mosh, you will know the meaning of heaviness.  This ferocious, pit-inducing "Spheres of Madness," debatably the album's highlight, underscores one of Decapitated's greatest talents: The seamless coalescing of fast and mid-tempo metal technicality with punishing, supremely satisfying breakdowns that pleases both the veteran metal buyer as well as begs the attention of metalcore and hardcore fans searching for a superlative death metal release.  Truly, Nihility is a magnificent album not to be missed.

- Sean Pettibone -

In Memory - Sean Pettibone