Review: Decrepid – 'Osseous Empire'

After 2011’s devastatingly good debut offering, ‘Devoted to Death ‘, UK Brutal Death Metal denizens Decrepid return with their follow up full-length, ‘Osseous Empire’. Sound wise, once again it’s packed with old school crushing riffs and more besides, from a line-up that includes founder Steve Brennan and Danny Price on guitars, both former members of Death /Black Metal outfit Necrosadistic Goat Torture, and is an offering, I think, worthy to carry the flag, alongside those other British brutal greats ‘Desecration’, as this is not the often-found, tuneless, mindless, guttural brutality of the many. This is well constructed, catchy as hell, face ripping excellence, that is executed with skill, precision, and classic flair.

The seven track, thirty minute offering commences with ‘Concussion’, which has a full minute of building riffs to open, the pace quickening and intensifying with the arrival of the growling vocals, and as the track progresses, so the pace quickens, becoming almost manic in its pace yet still hugely listenable.

The unrelenting aural assault continues with ‘Death Walks Above’, reaching its zenith with midpoint extended lead work of the superb shredding variety. There’s nothing shy about the drum work either across this release, diligently pummelling away, often breaking out into some great patterns, adding further depth and interest to the whole sound.

‘Indulgence In Self Destruction’ is a rapid and punchy offering, with more of the higher vitriol-tinged vocals accompanying the deeper growls. More mid-point excellence from the guitars, after which there’s a sinister drop in tempo before a final crushing assault to the end.

I love the opener on ‘Asylumaniac’, where bursts of riffs duel with drum blasts, but it gets better as the guitar work pans out to something here that is seriously addictive, and that now anticipated mid-point shred is followed by an abruptly brutal direction change, that is heavily garnished by more great drum work, with one final growl and scream-garnished direction flip to the close. Stunning stuff indeed.

A sinister riff build and then it’s straight into stunning lead work on ‘Into The Doom’, punctuated with cymbal crashes and pummelling drum rhythms, panning out to a mid-pace crushing rhythm on the arrival of the growls. The vocals aren’t overly clear here or elsewhere, but they are good, very brutal and anyway, that’s what lyric sheets are for! Here, it’s more about effect and atmosphere, then mid-point this offering goes into overdrive tempo-wise, dropping down in the final minute for a superbly dramatic, crushing finale.

On ‘Breeding Anger’ tight riffs dominate, but then a surprising direction change one minute in, with the tempo dropping significantly, then elevating again to caustic screams. This well executed switch repeats across the track to great effect.

Final track ‘Fear Within’ is the album monster at seven minutes duration, building accordingly to a sinister, protracted, hugely dramatic intro, then it’s punchy riffs and brutal growls all the way, rising and falling with sinister intent, with a great repeat riff appearing midway, and haunting off kilter lead work that pans out to a manic tempo in the latter part of the second half, justifying the track length. From around mid way, I was willing for the arrival of this and would have been sorely disappointed had it not happened.

‘Decrepid’ only in name, ‘Osseous Empire’ is packed with energy, intensity, brutality and excitement and is out on Xtreem Music.

Review: Jools Green

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