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The Pitch: Polish death and groove metal band Decapitated return with the help of hit-or-miss heavyweight label Nuclear Blast for their 7th album, one that has certainly been making the rounds since it released last week.  FFO: Aborted, Hatebreed, Lamb of God

What I Like: I tend to be skeptical of Nuclear Blast releases these days, but given the amount of praise I was hearing about Anticult, I ended up checking out “One-Eyed Nation” to see what the fuss was about.  Holy s#!t.  What a song.  This track is just punishingly heavy, and that one guitar hook (you’ll know it when you hear it) gets me every time.  The guitarwork is not all that technical, but they make up for it with infectious little touches and Lamb of Godish Southern rock influences (“Deathvaluation”) that get under your skin and compel you to move.  This impulse is further strengthened by the vocals, which tread the line between death metal and more of a Phil Anselmo/Jamey Jasta bark. And while the guitars otherwise stick to a more simplified groove metal approach (with a few solos for good measure), the drumming picks up any slack with riveting performances and really solid production.

Critiques: Some of the tracks feel a little too dumbed down.  I’m talking about almost Hatebreed-eaque songs like “Kill the Cult.”  These aren’t moments that I particularly hated, but they come across as extremely vanilla and take away from the overall package on some level.

The Verdict: A solid, albeit sometimes bland, major label release that manages to be heavy above all else.  In the end, Anticult does what it set out to do: divide and destroy.  Check out tracks below and buy it at all of the usual outlets.

Flight’s Fav’s: One-Eyed Nation, Deathvaluation, Never

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Flight of Icarus FlightofIcarus is a father, licensed counselor, and full time metalhead. When he is not working and spending time with family, he is writing furiously to promote underground bands on his own site, Metal Trenches. He believes staunchly in writing only constructive reviews, and his favorite bands include Dark Tranquillity, Enslaved, Poison the Well, and Deftones. You can also buy his ebook, The ABC’s of Black Metal.