The New Gold Standard for Future Endeavors in Technical Death Metal
The nature of music as a whole is always shifting, adapting and forging new paths along the sonic landscape. With their fourth full release, Decrepit Birth have set the new gold standard for future endeavors in technical death metal. Axis Mundi is a shining light at the end of the tunnel that tech-death enthusiasts can expect to shape the culture it resides in for years to come, as it is well ahead of its time.
The opening track, “Vortex of Infinity,” seems typical for a modern metal band. It drones on for the first two minutes of its runtime, but there is a method behind the madness. Just before the two-minute mark, there is a short pause that leads into an explosive resolution of sorts that consistently gets faster, heavier and more intricate as the track progresses. This sentiment seems to manifest itself throughout the rest of the album, but nowhere is the shift as acute and pronounced as on the first track.
The sheer level of brutality in Bill Robinson’s deep, powerful vocals is an achievement in and of itself, even before factoring in the amazing guitar work that Matt Sotelo contributes or Samus Paulicelli’s unrestrained percussive bombardment, as Sean Martinez holds down the low end of the mix.
The crown jewel of the production lies on the fourth track of the LP, “Hieroglyphic,” which does an amazing job of flaunting the individual talents of the quartet. The track speaks of the origins of humanity in a way that is both suspenseful and emotionally fulfilling for the listener. Following an amazing guitar solo, the tone shifts to a more urgent feel and the lyrics reflect on a more spiritual tenor.
As a whole, Decrepit Birth have set a daunting new precedent for those that will follow. The work done on Axis Mundi is breathtaking and the group do an excellent job of releasing the pent-up aggression that polite society has forced into hiding.