I like death metal, despite my objections to listening to it most of the time, I really do enjoy it. From time to time my brain and ears need something different. Death metal fits that bill quite nicely. It’s raw and aggressive (not quite so much as black metal but hey) and, with the right musician, has some of the best melodies in extreme metal. Sweden has the best death metal; it might be cliché to say that but there are times that it’s amazingly true. Decomposed sounds like a typical death metal band name and “Wither” sounds exactly like a death metal album.
But the sound, ah the sound! It doesn’t sound like your typical death metal. The first song I listened to made me think it was a black metal band, but the more I listened the more death metal seeped in. The normal “chug chug chug” that goes along with death metal melodies is absent and that’s for the best. Decomposed plays the album as if it were a black metal or doom metal but adds all the sounds and images of death metal.
I love the guitar work in death metal, it’s much more intricate and technical than black metal and the production is cleaner, clearer, the sound is much richer and deeper. Decomposed has some really rich melodies that are played at speeds ranging from Altars of Madness to Blessed are the Sick, the work is expertly done. The bass, more so than the drums on the album, forms the foundation for the sound. It’s rich and throbbing, low enough to give the listener than sense of awe and unease we humans feel when listening to infrasound. There’s some great reverb and echoes when you listen close enough; the melodies of the bass mirror those of the guitar. They run along the same track but the bass is more like a tank while the guitars were the Ferrari. There’s some great power in the bass it’s deep and heavy, just as death metal bass work ought to be. The vocals were a thing of beauty, not the froggy vocals typical of death metal but rasps with some real strength behind them, real emotions.
The entire album has a very surreal feel to it, as if the listener has been looking into Nietzsche’s abyss and now the abyss is staring back. There’s a sort of cosmic feel to the album, enhanced by the atmospheric stylings. Having read a lot of Lovecraft recently, I immediately got the feeling that there was a deeper here, something sinister lurking behind the sounds. Withered offers a lot, great music and great atmosphere. Decomposed is not just an ordinary run of the mill death metal band. Listen to them if you don’t believe me.
Listen and support!