Technical death metal. What exactly is that anyway? In the case of Decrepit Birth, and their latest slab of chaos Polarity, it's basically some extreme progressive metal bludgeoned into insignificance by Bill Robinson's gruff, and unnecessary, death vocals. Thoughtfully, the music within is the honest player here and not the vocalist.
With a foundation of pure thrash, Decrepit Birth offers enough technical and progressive imagery throughout to keep the listener interested. The opening piece (A Departure Of The Sun) Ignite The Tesla Coil shows some real extreme prog ingenuity. Later Polarity, Resonance, and Symbiosis display Decrepit Birth at their heady and, if you can believe it, melodic best.
Thankfully, after years of exposure to the modern metal trends of death vocals and harsh tones, I can drown out (for the most part) Robinson's vocals, as they add nothing beneficial to this recording. The death vocals here are somewhere between a simple annoyance and a pesky mosquito-like nuisance. Does Decrepit Birth really need this type of vocalist? I doubt it, they're too good and better off without him unless, of course, he can sing clean. But, I can't see that happening as most death vocalists sing that way because they can't sing to begin with.
Ultimately, the listener feels cheated because the death vocals diminish the value and real technical potential of Polarity. Add to this the fact that the work is less than 38 minutes long. I'm not sure I'm willing to drop 10 dollars for the download or 16 dollars for the hard copy just to endure Robinson's inner cookie monster. Otherwise, Polarity has some very cool technical, sometimes brutal, heavy metal. I wish there was more tunes like Resonance or Ignite The Tesla Coil. Worth your interest as a fan or out of curiosity, but not necessarily an essential purchase for your library of metal.
As technical death metal goes, and enduring the annoying death vocals, Decrepit Birth's Polarity is worth your interest as a fan or out of curiosity, but not necessarily an essential purchase.
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