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Profane Doctrines Unburied

Razorback (2011)
Rating: 8/10

This is the third studio album from this deadly American duo – namely Elektrokutioner and the even more delightfully named Sinworm. One spin of this foul disc and you’ll be consumed by the suffocating guffaw of the undead, because this is very much old school death metal that sounds like it’s been drenched from the most foetid tomb; think of a grotesque mix between England’s Bolt Thrower and US gore gods Autopsy.

I thought I was in for another dull and very modern sounding experience… how wrong I was! This is basically a doom-laden, fuzz-ridden quagmire of curiosity that forms as some kind of rank hell spawn and grows into one of the heaviest monsters I’ve heard for a long time.

Thankfully, the “band” need not batter our senses with hyper drums and wailing guitars, instead everything about this is rotten in its weight. Picture a long concealed carcass dragging itself from some mist-caressed grave and you just might get the idea of what Decrepitaph are about. These two lunatics are talented multi-instrumentalists who with ease have puked out some of the most wretched old school sounds I’ve heard since the early 90s.

The album opens with the reasonably fast and morbid ‘Convulse In Eternal Agony’, which sees Elektrokutioner pounding the crap out of his skins, but immediately I notice that where Decrepitaph differ is in their quest for the eerie. To some, the initial grooves may sound unoriginal, but Sinworm adds some truly mournful, creepy and unusual solos and melodies which writhe amidst the spooky gloom.

‘Desecrate Sacred Flesh’ is all dense bass – I can see the skeletons crumbling in their coffins as Sinworm vomits out another distant bellow. This is guttural in every way, but also accessible due to its heavy nature, and again I’m reminded of the war-torn strategies and sludge of Bolt Thrower.

‘A Suffocating Evil’ is a prime example of the band at full weight. This is truly punishing and yet groove-based, crawling like some ominous ooze before a killer solo interrupts briefly, its shrill discord no doubt awaking the dead.

‘Domain Of The Occult’ is a more uptempo affair, combining a faster drum with another doomy riff before picking up the pace, while ‘Evangelical Evisceration’ is just as unpleasant.

But it’s the old school smog of ‘Ghost Of The Gallows’ which provides a lethal injection to proceedings. This is an awesome slab of a song, straight from the morgue of misery, riding high on a depressive solo, reminding me of old-style My Dying Bride as it seeps into the system.

The record then reaches its pungent climax with the nine-minute ‘The Crucifix Crumbles (A Decrepit Epitaph)’, and yet despite the crushing weight of the album in general, the experience is quite fleeting. Maybe it’s due to those massive grooves or those eerie injections, but either way, Decrepitaph have old school death metal down to a T, and after a few listens one will be wondering how to rid the house of that vile odour.

Neil Arnold

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