To paraphrase comedian Lewis Black, I don’t believe that it is proper to use the word retard when referring to a mentally handicapped individual. However, if a friend of yours, or someone you know, or even a random passerby says something incredibly stupid to you, you have the right to look at them and say: “you are retarded”.
DECHRIST, you are retarded.
Since the rise in popularity of genres like Deathcore and technically inclined Death Metal began, what seems like an endless parade of chicken-choking yokels have come out of the woodwork, dicks firmly planted in hand, ready to shred and blast until each one of them encounters early arthritis. With all the charm of an anti-Semite denying the Holocaust, with all the control of an escaped mental patient, and with an egregiously low grasp on what music is, DECHRIST is easily the nadir of this uninspiring scene. The main complaint isn’t that the music is too technical; the complaint is that there is no music. Drummer Martin Maurais, formerly of KATAKLYSM fame, pounds incessantly away at the kit without a single hint of grace while multi-instrumentalist Maerk Asselin riffs and thumps on both bass and guitar before flying off on a completely new tangent altogether. The bass guitar is barely audible, and whenever it is, only a muddled thump can be heard.
There are approximately two interesting moments throughout this album. One of which, towards the end of “Obsessed On Corrupt Alcohol”, occurs in the form of a linear tremolo picked line, and it more than overstays its welcome. It is the basis for the song’s entire climax. The song, up until that point, had consisted of nothing but vacuous technical masturbation, seemingly random drum solos overlapped with gratuitous shredding–no melody, no discerning outlook for the listener, just erratic noise. The other moment, the riff that launches “The Korsakov Psychose” is a cool riff in and of itself, but the nonsensical blastbeats that back it ruin any chance of it making a lasting impact.
“The Powers of Alcohol” would best be described as an instrumental Death/Grind album. But it isn’t an album that I would recommend to anyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire album was improvised in the recording studio, or if the drummer recorded his part separate from the guitarist/bassist with no knowledge of what his music would sound like, and the two were awkwardly crammed together afterwards. That’s what this sounds like. I’m sure it took these two “musicians” years to be able to reach such otherworldly speeds, but those years could have been spent learning how to write riffs and play in time.
(Online October 7, 2008)