Well, the word is out, and there is little to dislike about DESECRATION. The band’s sixth release takes listeners on a conceptual journey through the deterioration of a human corpse and appropriately bears the name “Process Of Decay.” From demise to decomposition this release (recently offered a second time through Epitomite Productions) offers much in the way of gore-infested vocals. Each song invokes the standard guttural offerings associated with modern Death acts, but the music on this release merits much praise.
Ollie Jones plays with much precision. His guitar riffs offer a fair degree of complexity with many brief bursts of speed that gel with the frenzied drum work quite well. “Initial Decay” and “Bacterial Breakdown” contain fantastic riffs that convey the band’s intensity and offer moments of extreme originality. At times the drums show evidence of computerized tampering (either that or Michael Hourihan is the best drummer in Death Metal bar none), but ultimately the presentation of this release offers much creativity and brutality. The songs transition perfectly whether played in a random order or in the intended sequence, and most of the time the listener will not notice that they have entered into a new track without proper attention.
By no means would I consider “Process Of Decay” the fastest or most complex release on the market today, but its mid-paced drive packs a more powerful punch than many of DESECRATION’s adversaries and competitors. The production of the release is smooth with the exception of a few obvious studio enhancements to the drum tracks. The release lacks any substantial bass contributions, which does little to devalue the overall effect but rather places DESECRATION in the ever-growing list of bands with insignificant bass players. Ollie’s association with AMPUTATED brings an unnecessary and somewhat comical contribution to the release with guest vocalist Morbid Mark who offers breathy accents into a heavily distorted microphone for added effect. Otherwise, the rapport that Michael and Ollie have developed since joining the band in 1993 results in some rather impressive contributions that merit public consumption by those looking to metal for intellectual stimulation or simple brain-rotting.
A number of great things have come from Wales in terms of metal, and combining with Dan Turner for the release of “Process Of Decay” has proven quite worthwhile. The precise production and intricate riffs that DESECRATION offer will bring much delight to fans of straight-forward Death Metal and leave critics little to doubt regarding the band’s direction and ability. Aside from the blotches of drum patchwork the only complaint that I foresee regarding the release stems from the artwork, which lacks the overall graphic appeal of the original cover art but probably more appropriately matches the lyrical content found throughout the release. Hopefully we will hear from DESECRATION again within the next few years.
(Online June 3, 2007)