Barcelona, Spain’s Decapitated Christ are perhaps the world of death metal’s best kept secret. Since 2005, this diabolical horde have spent no time engaged in typical underground toiling; piddling around with singles, EP’s and splits. Their discography consists of one demo and four, soon to be five LP’s – all depraved and forged in the age olde fires blasphemy.
For you see, Decapitated Christ do death metal the original way, the Satanic way, as they channel Deicide, Possessed and Morbid Angel with each one of their rapturous volumes. You can hear the angels weep in rue of the coming day now as we prepare for the conjuration of their newest desecration Glorious Tyrannizing of Human Rats.
It is a weapon of an album that devastates on misanthropic, Luciferian and Satanic fronts. Volatile abominations like “Abjuring the Holy Trinity” and “Luciferi Imperator Omnipotens” drive the crucifixion nails in deep with dense blast-beats and steamrolling grinds, but also ear-candy grooves and stunning melodic passages. Palpable black metal vibes felt throughout both cuts as the violence dissipates into darker, slower and more engaging parts; an adept balancing of the scales with equal parts brutality and ritualism.
Wise use of effects create a seductive atmosphere, all the while as godlike backing vocals evoke images of great Luciferian temples and Christians being sacrificed under blood moon. But this is a death metal album, so the real beauty of it lies on the death metal side of things. It’s contemporary at its core in the vein of Skeletal Remains and Creeping Death, but not without some heavy Bolt Thrower and Asphyx worship during “Assault On the Ravaged Wastelands” and “Massive Demonic Warfare.” Both tracks deadly in their own right and proper homages to a couple of the scene’s legendary outfits.
Production is crisp but not sanitized and all phases cut through the mix nicely, allowing for the most intense experience possible. A unique touch to soloing adds some nice depth to the recording and the reasonable pace at which Decapitated Christ deliver the carnage only sweetens the deal. It’s a comprehensive album with stylistic ties to an impressive number of influences from a little NWOBHM, a lot of groove and a minimal but noticeable helping of Gorguts and Nile-level technicality.
As much as I appreciate the albums darker Septicflesh side, I found some of these epic parts to be awkwardly interjected as opposed to a smoother transition which would’ve allowed for a more seamless experience. But overall, the risks pay dividends, because Glorious Tyrannizing of Human Rats is a welcomed change of pace in comparison to many of the carbon copied DM albums that are circulating throughout the underground. We’re in a throwback era and Decapitated Christ do honor the olde way, but ultimately, their gazes are fixed upon an apocalyptic future for both the genre and our dying world.
(released October 6, 2023 on FDA Records)
Heavy Music HQ Rating:
Listen To Decapitated Christ – “Hunting Human Rats”