(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a new song by a Connecticut band named Archaic Decaptator.)
2014 isn’t over just yet. But I am already on to 2015 releases, earlier than normal I might add. While getting a break would have been nice, when good metal music beckons, I try to answer its demented siren call and spread the word. Which is why I needed to write about Archaic Decapitator, a Connecticut-based death metal group, one who are fairly new to me.
I found out about the band because technical death metal badasses Formless quite recently posted a link to a newly released song of theirs, “Sublevels” (which I will embed below). I suspect they did so because their bassist, Craig Breitsprecher, is in both bands, and also does backing vocals in Archaic Decapitator. I’m pretty happy to have heard this audio recommendation, as this turns out to be yet another underground band worthy of championing.
I struck up by the idea of a song premiere, leading to this newly released eargasm, “Ethereal Aspects”. The impeccably badass song serves is an early teaser to the band’s upcoming EP, The Catherine Wheel.
Lest anyone think that is a goofy title, it actually refers to a sinister form of ancient torture called the breaking wheel, a device used to crush the bones of those who suffered under it. The breaking wheel was later nicknamed “the Catherine Wheel”, due to the legend of Saint Catherine supposedly breaking the breaking wheel itself, which of course led to her beheading instead. It’s definitely a fitting name for this EP, one that accurately captures the supremely crushing effect their music has upon both soul and body.
On “Ethereal Aspects”, Archaic Decapitator show that they’ve got the melodic death metal stomp and glory down pat, better than most in fact. But the technical and progressive aspects of their sound are used with purpose, creating a totality that comes across quite unique and memorable. What makes “Ethereal Aspect” so appealing, is the way in which the band combine the melodic and technical styles of death metal — they aren’t conjoined, but instead play out side to side, giving the listener a unique back-and-forth, cascading experience.
The song dives and dashes through a lot of varying territories — brandishing a potent mix of guitar melodies and aggressive riffing, supplemented by a warm, thick bass presence, a hard- driving drum pulse, and overpoweringly evil and biting growls from hell. When united together, these ingredients form a winning combination, one that you would regret not checking out.
Listening to “Ethereal Aspects” is a reminder that one can be sonically bludgeoned to death, yet be quite pleased about the life-ending effect at the same time. A fearsome ode to joyous sonic terror indeed.
Having been fortunate enough to listen to the entire EP courtesy of the band, I can attest to the quality of all 5 tracks — this is must-listen material. The Catherine Wheel will drop as a “pay what you want” Bandcamp download on January 6th — now a date you must remember.