Decrepit Birth

Diminishing Between Worlds

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What a difference five years makes. On their 2003 debut, …And Time Begins, Decrepit Birth were a California clone of East Coast brutal death metal bands like Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, and Immolation, minus the blood-spattered lyrics. On this follow-up, they've made substantial changes to their lineup and their style, all for the better. The brutality has in large part been pushed to the side in favor of complex, progressive compositions (calling them "songs" seems almost unfair) featuring two-guitar interplay that's much higher in the mix than it was on the debut, crazed polyrhythmic drumming, and…well, the same indecipherably guttural vocals they've had all along, but it is still death metal after all. If the template on …And Time Begins was Suffocation's Pierced from Within, the models this time are Death circa Human and Individual Thought Patterns, with some Atheist circa Unquestionable Presence thrown in (there's a passage in the middle of "Dimensions Intertwine" that should have had Atheist leader Kelly Shaefer calling his lawyer), and Cynic -- "The Enigmatic Form" is a jazz-fusion-meets-classical-guitar-meets-shred instrumental Paul Masvidal could easily have written. So while Decrepit Birth are as much in thrall to their elders on Diminishing Between Worlds as they were in 2003, they've changed teams, swapping raw savagery for a trippy progressiveness, and it's very much a change for the better.

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