Review : DECREPIT BIRTH – "Polarity"

Decrepit BirthPolarity
Release Date: 27Jul2010 (US)
Label: Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4/5

Decrepit Birth‘s third studio album begins with a melodic guitar arrangement almost reminiscent of  The Fucking Champs. The similarities, as you might expect, stop there. The band waste no time whipping out Schuldiner-esque riffs and guttural growls. The sound in general is still pretty much what you have grown to expect from Decrepit Birth––a modernized version of later Death material––but Polarity sees the band in their best form yet.

In contrast to other bands of the tech death genre, Decrepit Birth does not shoot for angularity. In fact, it’s almost the opposite. The riffs and melodies you find in their songs flow together seamlessly and, despite the high level of musical ability, never seem to get overly complex or too much for the human mind to handle. For those of you who only know their 2003 debut, …And Time Begins, things have changed quite a bit since then. No longer are they meddling with creating the heaviest sound possible. Polarity showcases a near-perfect blend of melody, brutality, and technicality.

Unfortunately, the sound can be a bit unoriginal at times. Whenever Sotelo plays a solo, I think to myself “is Chuck Schuldiner still alive?” On the plus side, Chuck’s axe-wielding abilities were most virtuosic and worthy of worship,  but on the minus side, it brings little new to the table; I may as well go listen to The Sound of Perseverance. Decrepit Birth have yet to achieve Death‘s high quality, and I am not sure they can reach that level.

On its own merits, Polarity demonstrates just how good and––dare I say––listenable technical death metal can be. Where genre-mates like Necrophagist and Brain Drill stray as far from consonance in order to be as insane as possible, Decrepit Birth have realized how to harmonize opposites.

Try 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 11

01. (A Departure of the Sun) Ignite the Tesla Coil
02. Metatron
03. The Resonance
04. Polarity
05. Solar Impulse
06. Mirroring Dimensions
07. A Brief Odyssey in Time
08. The Quickening of Time
09. Sea of Memories
10. Symbiosis
11. Darkness Embrace


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