US crusty old school death metal connoisseurs Acephalix have left it quite a while to give us their third album which follows on from 2012’s “Deathless Master”, an album I enjoyed quite a lot back then with its bone sawing riffs and jack hammering drums. Typically the band’s death metal approach is Scandinavian and as the glut of bands infesting that genre resurgence approaches saturation bands like Acephalix have got to stand out with their albums which they just about done so on ”Decreation”. The moment the album starts the obvious thing that has changed is the higher quality production, which is predictable I know but sometimes it occurs at the sacrifice of a bands ethos but here their grisly riffing structure is intact but considerably sharper. Added to that the songs are generally longer and complex with plenty of tempo changes perfectly exemplified by the opener “Upon This Altar” which has a trademark riff and cymbal smash starting sequence. It is good to hear a modern production that hasn’t obliterated the drum sound as it has a great organic feel with the riffs layered into the song like sheet metal.

“Suffer (Life In Fragments)” has one of those riffs that bores into your head and sits there for days refusing to shift and is followed by an equally catchy one on “God Is Laughing” that is followed by some juggernaut double kick. Much of this album is played at mid-tempo velocity like proper death metal used to be back in the late 80s, as the grinding riffs and disembowelling vocals are monstrously bellowed out to great effect. Whichever way you listen to it “Excremental Offerings” has a massive Black Sabbath vibe to it, the riff is doom driven and I’d even say the song has a deathly stoner feel. The double kick patterns are simplistic but tremendously effective as the song seemingly saunters along until a penetrating riff break and increase in pace which is poised perfectly making this song a standout.

“Egoic Skin” starts brilliantly with chain sawing riffs and a beat with an emphasised cymbal tap; I love this attention to detail as the song shifts like a lumbering beast into Autopsy realms but picks up the speed. The vocals become even grislier here as the riff breaks are dotted into the song effectively along with the galloping double bass barrage. The title track finishes the album which clocks near the seven minute barrier and like the other songs the constantly morphing tempo shifts are fluidly executed as the song has a deep sinister aura with a riffing style that crawls over the listener during the slower more disturbing sequences as the song slowly fades away towards the albums end.

“Decreation” offers gruesome deathliness with bone breaking riffs and an unforgiving crushing assault and for any old school death metal fan this should be high on your purchase or investigation list.

(8/10 Martin Harris)