Decrepitaph
Profane Doctrines Unburied

Consistency is the name of the game with Decrepitaph. Wayne “Elektrokutioner” Sarantopolous (drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, backing vocals) and Sinworm (vocals, guitar, bass) will never be anything but an authentically doomy death metal band that plays with a passion for the old school and takes care to write the best songs possible within those parameters, points with which neither would likely argue.

However, while not seeking to reinvent the wheel, Decrepitaph never settles for mere style mimicry either. In addition to several splits, EPs, and demos, Decrepitaph released two full-length albums on Razorback Records – 2008’s Condemned Cathedral and 2010’s Beyond the Cursed Tombs. – both of which are quality affairs that took Incantation and to varying degrees Asphyx as the foundation, but managed to incorporate an identity all their own. The same can be said for new full-length Profane Doctrines Unburied.

Elektrokutioner and Sinworm always inject just enough in the way of stylistic tweaks and compositional angles to keep each album from sounding just like the one that came before, a quality that is also apparent on the new long player. While it is easy (or maybe lazy) to continually throw out the Incantation and Asphyx references, not to mention references to band’s like Encoffination (also an Elektrokutioner project) or Dead Congregation, Profane Doctrines Unburied also shares some characteristics with the Stockholm sound of old, more so than the previous two efforts. You’ll hear it immediately on “Convulse in Eternal Agony” with its motorized and buzzing up-tempo blasts and Dismember-esque guitar melody. That is also the case to one degree or another on a handful of other tunes, especially the two-beat buzzers. But then you’ll get a Blaspherian-like mid-tempo chug on “A Suffocating Evil,” which surprises with one of several inventive guitar lead twinges that are melodic, yet chillingly evil, as the song pushes and pulls its way through to the end.

Those craggy, yet tuneful, leads show up throughout, as do some smart twists on some otherwise fundamentally DM riffs, a case in point the rise-and-fall main riff on “Domain of the Occult.” The more you spin Profane Doctrines Unburied the more you’ll notice the intelligent, yet often subtle, changeups. The one constant will always be some serious forays into the depths of the grotesque and the wicked; instrumental “Ghost of the Gallows” a horrifying case in point. The duo was wise to close with the nine-minute “The Crucifix Crumbles (A Decrepit Epitaph),” which reveals itself to be one of the more epic, intense, and dynamic songs of the catalogue.

If I had to find something to nitpick I suppose it would be the need for a beefier bottom end. Put simply, Profane Doctrines Unburied is a sure bet to please any fan of cavernous, doom drenched, old school death, yet it is once again a pony with more than one trick. The end result is the mastering of that delicate balance of staying true to the sound without making the same album over and over again. This one is an easy recommendation for fans of the style. When does Sarantopolous find time for sleep?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
March 17th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Stacy B.

    That artwork looks terrific (and fairly representative of their sound)! Good review!


  2. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Gotta love the miserable, decaying doom/death Razorback is putting out lately. Pretty cool cover too.


  3. Commented by: DeathFiend

    This band is the best band on Razorback right now and one of the top death metal bands in the US. This album is amazing!


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