When writing on Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger said something shockingly lucid, almost contrary to his normal style of prose: that the great thinker thinks one step ahead of what he writes. Likewise, it seems that influential and/or great bands contain within their seminal recordings the seeds for further growth and exploration; just look at what’s became of the influence of one particular element of Suffocation’s sound, or the hooky and concise, almost poppy nature of Slaughter of the Soul, for example. With straightforward Swe-death, very few seemed to have bothered trying to get to what wasn’t recorded already and just mimicked it enthusiastically, hoping that reminding the listener of others’ past glories was enough. Sure, some aspects may be emphasized over others here and there, but it seems that finding that fertile ground is nearly impossible for enterprising bands. It’s a nuisance to me as a reviewer that Acephalix’s third record Decreation, being one composed entirely of crusty Swe-death, is a clear symptom of this larger problem.

Being a crusty Swe-death record, Decreation draws heavily on Entombed, Dismember, Nihilist, Grave, and the like, with the modern touch of Black Breath and their ilk. There’s little else to say about Decreation, save that instead of the short bursts of Black Breath, a very noticeable product of their crust influence, Acephalix takes their time with their tracks, crafting Entombed and Grave facsimiles with a sizable crust influence instead of crust punk played as though it were Swe-death. As seems to be the case with a lot of contemporary death metal, the excellent Disma is also lurking in the background as well.

This style of composition can be fun at times, and Decreation is no exception. By pushing any and all subtleties back, Acephalix make riff-heavy death metal the order of the day. Opener “Upon This Altar” has a nice crusty take on Dismember that’s good in that it reminds of the power of quality Swe-death riffs. “God is Laughing” has a quality solo section that reminds of the bludgeoning riffing mixed with chaotic lead guitar that vaguely and pleasantly brings Slayer to mind. The almost blatant death n’ roll of “Mnemonic Death” is a chunky affair that’s entertaining enough, provided you don’t expect much more than B-grade Entombed worship mixed with an odd Grave riff thrown in there for good measure.

The issue with Decreation isn’t that it’s bad music. No, Acephalix can play, can write a largely coherent song, and can put together some convincing riffs. What they can’t do is make me care about their music any more than the myriad Swe-death/crust clones that exist on the market today. “Egoic Skin” drags along competently enough to keep your eyes from glazing over, but only just. The gurgling vocals and slight Incantation influence hurt it though, as they serve only to remind the listener of how vastly superior Disma is. The title track begins on a D-beat under a riff so tepid and low energy that it’s nearly baffling to think of it as death metal, and the best part of the song is a small chugging bit that almost plagiarizes Disma’s “Chasm of Oceanus” transition riff entirely. Being only seven songs, it should be easy to remember more than the odd detail about one of them, but this is all so rote, so overdone, so bland that I cannot.

Like an absolutely rabid Aristotelian, Acephalix simply cannot conceive of anything whatsoever that would go beyond essentially direct quotes (and some paraphrases, in their creative moments) of their influences. While competent, their music is entirely myopic and, to my ears, entirely boring. There’s simply not a single second of Decreation that I’d rather hear over their influences or even their contemporaries in Black Breath, and in turn this record becomes entirely pointless for me. At least it sounds decent from a production standpoint, with a thick tone for all guitars and some fairly hefty drums, and sounds far better than the DR5 rating suggests. If you take an all you can quaff approach to this style of music, add Acephalix to that queue because you’ll like what you hear. If you’re a bit more discerning and would rather spend more time listening to less records (and in turn select those of higher quality), I cannot earnestly recommend Decreation to you. There’s nothing blatantly wrong here, but there’s nothing quite right either; this is purgatorial death metal that enervates far more than it excites.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: 20 Buck Spin Records
Websites: facebook.com/acephalix
Releases Worldwide: September 22nd, 2017

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  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    THE 2.0 RATING FOR THIS KICK ASS RECORD IS INCORRECT TO A METAPHYSICAL LEVEL OF CERTITUDE

  • wayne the devil

    I spy with my eye Cro-Mags shirt!! MAAL-AAALLL-FUNCTION!!! Sweet. This isn’t to bad an album but a fair score I think,

    • That’s depressing. I love that album

      • wayne the devil

        86 was my formative Metal year and Age of quarrel was one of my cornerstone albums, so I agree.

      • ssorg

        It’s good, but it’s no Best Wishes

    • Gibvlets

      Um..no its not. Ever hear of amazon? Its a very easy to get lp and cd

      • Nubby

        Yea its still in print most recently 2015 and there will be another 2018 repress as well. Very easy to find album. Try discogs too,27 versions listed.

        • wayne the devil

          I was hunting a digital copy. And bezo-zon can kiss my ass..thanks for the leads though!! you all rock

          • basenjibrian

            LOL. I read that during summer heat waves, rather than pay for air conditioning or even OPENING THE FUCKING WINDOWS AND DOORS (can’t have theft, dontchaknow), they just station ambulances outside the slave plantation for when the older itinerant workers collapse. Plus, when the oldsters are carted off they can dock their pay for leaving their shift early!
            Win! Win!
            But they are soooooo cheap and convenient. Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death.

          • wayne the devil

            I used to post a ton in the Metal forum about a decade or so ago….then they made me angry….

  • Ferrous Beuller

    2??? I see it’s time for another office death-match…

    • Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! *flicks office lights in rhythm*

      • Dr. Wvrm

        I told you getting a popcorn machine for the office would come in handy!

    • ssorg

      Falls under my rule no. 3 for AMG score-adjustment:
      3. Is it traditional death metal? If so, add at least 0.5 — these are chronically underrated.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I agree to some extent. I liked the Coffin Lust (DR 10!) from last year, and the Firespawn from this year, and they were both a 3. To be fair, a 3 isn’t a bad score, and Ferrous felt Firespawn put out a solid record and encouraged people to seek it out.

        • ssorg

          I think ratings always have to be personally interpreted. I am always puzzled by the high scores that nonmetal gets on AMG, so I always know to take those ratings with a big pinch ov salt.
          On the other hand, I really enjoy having my eardrums brutalized by some filthy death metal, so I’ll often personally rate those much higher than their AMG rating.
          It still cheeses me off when nonmetal gets AOTM or AOTY because I feel protective of metal in some perverse way, but that’s my own personal mania, I suppose.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Love me some filthy death too. Actually, I’ve discovered a lot of good stuff over at the What Are you Listening To? post in the Metal-Fi forum. Posters like Whitenoise give some awesome recommendations, including a shit ton of nice and raw Black Metal that would otherwise have passed me by.

            I like some of the nonmetal stuff AMG has reviewed over the years. Hand.Cannot.Erase is a favourite, as is Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom. However, could never get into Gazpacho.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            If it makes you feel better, my vote for RotM for September was Live in Leipzig.

        • ssorg

          Thanks for Coffin Lust rec, “grave haunting death metal” is the perfect description. Not sure they’re making full use of that DR10, but a great listen anyway

    • Not that scores matter, but the material is much, much stronger than the score would have you believe. Where the hell is Kronos? I want a brutalz score!

      • Ferrous Beuller

        I know, I’ve been playing it for the last week. That’s the beauty of there being such different reviewers, though – had I picked it up instead of Diablous, I’d have slapped a much higher score on it.

        • I’d say 4.0. Pretty easy on the AMG Richter Scale if you ask me. Like I said before, they’re like a Swedish version of Bolt Thrower (well the music that is)

          • VikingSchism

            I can definitely see the Bolt Thrower comparison, especially at the section around 2:50 in the embedded track. I might have to give the rest of this a listen based on that

          • If I would have known what DiM was going to do, I would have offered a dueling review! :-)

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Alright, but we’re getting this sponsored by Olde English 40s.

  • Kryopsis

    As always, your review was enjoyable and highly entertaining, DiM. So would you say that this album embodies the instantiation of the Platonic Form of ‘two’?

    Unrelated but the left-most guy on the band photo seems to be wearing the band’s own t-shirt. That’s remarkably gauche!

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    At first I thought this was a review of the newly resurrected Jim Carrey character starring in his own porno….

  • John Mosley

    This album is not Dasein. It is not being towards death.

  • lennymccall

    Entombed, Grave and Black Breath are all ultimate fave bands of mine. I listed to this the other day and it didn’t grab me. Not a great score so I’m left wondering if I should bother going back and giving it another chance…?

  • Monsterth Goatom

    One of the many reasons I always read the review rather than just jumping to the rating and moving on if it’s low: the writers usually remind me of other good stuff to listen to. With that in mind, I’m heading off Towards the Megalith!

    • Monsterth Goatom

      P.S. That Dvne album mentioned yesterday in the comments for the RoTM post is pretty sweet.

      • wayne the devil

        Dvne are my Mastodon replacements!

    • One More Thing

      You know, I have been coming to this site for years and have never thought about this. The knowledge on this site is tremendous, and yet, if it’s not a reviewer that I identify with musically, I usually look at the score to judge whether or not I’ll read the review. I never stop look at the bands mentioned in the review itself to see if I’d like them as well. This gives me a whole new outlook on discovering music here. Thanks for this!

      • Monsterth Goatom

        No problem. One of many ways I stumble onto great music both new and old. For example, would probably have missed Ingurgitating Oblivion’s release had L. Saunders not mentioned it in his Suffering Hour review.

    • John Mosley

      Amazing album. Like it?

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I’m lovin’ it!

  • I really, really disagree with this review. DiM – I think you reviewed this in a bad mood. I mean c’mon, this is an killer record from top to bottom. It’s Swedish DM + Bolt Thrower all wrapped into a lovely tight little package. It is derivative no doubt, but the 2.0 score just don’t make a slick a sense to me.

    • Jay Majesty

      Thank you, the riffs on this are top notch

      • Anytime Jay. That’s why we are here!

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      I thought that may be the case too, but then I listened to other death metal and it still ruled. To me this one seems like a record that a lot of people will really like for two weeks and then move on because it’s fine but not all that compelling.

  • Mark Z

    Agree completely with this review. I gave it one listen and thought “great, another Swedeath record for the pile.” It’s not horrible, just horribly unnecessary.

    • Spoetnik

      Sludge ?

  • Jay Majesty

    Totally disagree. They take this style to another level and have an energy that is vacant in most death metal Yes I know its derivative but they do bring some nuance that makes them different.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Largely derivative with some nuances is fine if it’s done really well, like Cemetery Urn. This just came across bland and redundant to my ears. Like the style, not the execution.

      • I do not enjoy this at all and completely support the 2.0 score. If I want some good death metal in 2017 I look no further than Servants of the Countercosmos, from Wode.

        • Spoetnik

          Or cross your fingers Tucker and Azagoth in the studio right now are polishing a masterpiece.

  • Morbidly Obese Angel

    Another solid DM release getting shit on at AMG. This trend is getting to be quite comical

  • Metal and Hockey

    I like this album quite a bit. At least a 3.5 for me. Heavy and catchy death metal. Listen to Suffer and you’ll be growling it all day

    • Spoetnik

      Can it be any worse than Entombed A.D. ?

  • The Akerstache
    • herrschobel

      yeah right ? there is a nice word in german: ‘fremdschämen’ .. it means that you feel ashamed for someone else … i always do this when someone mentions they like Alestorm…

      • I love Alestorm. Feel free to fremdschämen while I enjoy myself.

  • brutal_sushi

    I want to really really love this, but that fucking atrocious cymbal choice is the only thing my ears pick up…

  • Hall Awaits

    Found this album decent but completely unoriginal. There’s only so much one can take when it comes to paying homage to the legends of Swedish death metal.

  • sir_c

    Nope.
    Not a 2.0. This band deserves a positive rating

  • Javier McDrifter

    A 2.0? Not a chance…not a perfect album for sure, but more than competent

  • herrschobel

    massive disagree….good record at least….