The hardships endured by Decapitated over the last few years has been well documented and the hope that adversity is the dust that polishes the diamond was largely dismissed after the universally lukewarm response received by previous album “Carnival Is Forever”. With that in mind there was a lot on the line for Decapitated when it came to releasing “Blood Mantra”. They needn’t have worried!
“Blood Mantra” is a superb death metal album full of enormous bang your head riffs that will likely please fans both old and new. There are areas that clearly go back to the bands roots and the rusty mechanical shredding of “Nihility” that also combine with the more progressive elements of the later albums. Vocalist Rafal Piotrowski has a very similar voice to Covan, bouncing between death metal grunts and an almost hardcore style bark that compliments these songs nicely.
Tracks like “Nest” display a band eager to venture into new territories, the trademark staccato riffing is infectious but gives way to a progressive section that actually brings early Opeth to mind. Then there are those like the title track that has such an enormous hook riff that it’s impossible not to instantly start banging your head, even if you’re listening to it on the bus…
In short “Blood Mantra” is an essential album from a well loved band who have made an astounding return to form. Buy it and buy it now.