Decrepit Birth
Diminishing Between Worlds

Change is often a hit and miss prospect for metal bands; just ask Metallica, Entombed, Immortal, Carcass, Gorefest and many others. In the case of California’s Decrepit Birth, who after a nasty and publicized arrest of their guitarist Mike Turner on Child Molestation charges, change has been a good thing. The change also includes Odious Mortem drummer KC Howard replacing Tim Yeung and guitarist Matt Sotelo playing all the bass parts.

In short, the result of this change is album that’s a far cry from the singular if impressive blasting of the band’s more brutal…And Time Begins debut, a fine but samey Unique Leader affair. Now the only familiar thing is the different shaded Dan Seagrave cover as Decrepit Birth’s second album is an altogether, and far more brilliant and cerebral beast. Rather than the feral blasting of the debut, what we have now is an album that sounds like Death’s The Sound of Perseverance, Cynic’s Focus or Theory In Practice’s Colonizing the Sun, being given an otherwordly shot of Rabies by Mithras.

Complex, intricate and eloquent delivering a refined form of savagery, Diminishing Between Worlds is a technical tour de force of outstanding, complex yet digestable death metal that should see the band join the tech death metal elite. However, not just an array of notes and blasts, the album is riddled with solos and actual melody and harmony, harnessed with the ferocity of tech death metal’s skill. Sotelo, with this album, and his obvious Schuldiner worship, has to be considered one of US death metal’s most talented fretsters after this album.

Now while an album like Brain Drill’s Apocalyptic Feasting or Hate Eternal’s Fury & Flames are to be considered technical, there’s a differing level of technicality here. It’s an in direct, intellectual, layered, crystal clear style that sounds like there’s 4 or 5 guitars playing independently at once, and much like last years Sickening Horror, there’s a level of memorability mired within the cascade of notes and blasts that most tech death metal simply does not have. Tracks like opener “The Living Doorway”, “The Enigmatic Form”, “The Reflection of Emotions”, “The Essence of Creation”, and “Awaiting the Unending” (be sure to check the track listings as there appears to have been an error in the track list printing) deliver sumptuous solos amid the vortex of KC Howard’s percussive dexterity, who is yet another in a growing line of outstanding American drummers. Vocalist Bill Robinson is functional with his by the numbers roars, but it give the album more of a organic, savage feel as opposed to the more friendly rasps of Schuldiner, Shaeffer and such.

The bottom line is that Diminishing Between Worlds is simply stunning-on every level and in every facet. It’s such a progression from the debut it’s barely recognizable as the same band but shows that change can be a good thing and that Diminishing Between Worlds will no doubt be one of the most lauded, must have death metal albums of 2008.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 17th, 2008


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