Cancer Culture is Decapitated’s 9th studio album – and its been a long time coming. 2017’s Anticult, which I consider to be the best metal album of all time, makes for a very tough act to follow, but Cancer Culture does not disappoint and it has absolutely been worth the wait (just don’t leave it so long for the next album guys!).

Spoiler Alert – this is an incredible album, go buy it!

From The Nothingness With Love kicks things off with a military type drum beat and menacing guitar work, building up to a threatening crescendo that is perfectly interrupted by the title track Cancer Culture grabbing you and shaking things violently up with its heavy rolling grooves. This killer title track sets the standard for the rest of the album with its incredible guitars (lead/rhythm and bass), thunderous drumwork and merciless vocals. And its not even the best song on the album.

Just A Cigarette changes the pace with interleaving and full-on blasts and percussion/bass/light guitar, giving Pawel a better chance to make his presence felt between Vogg’s magic. Speaking of which, there is some beautiful guitar licks that leave me grinning every time I hear them.

No Cure turns things on its head with a fury reminiscent of Nile. James Stewart really has a lot of fun with this track whilst demonstrates his mastery of percussive barrages.

Hello Death is a masterpiece. It starts off with strong vibes similar to The Knife, before completely throwing me with the clean vocal’s of Jinjer’s Tatiana Shmayluk. It took a couple of listens before I realised just how brilliant this song is. At first interleaved singers, then duelling, and finally dueting, Tatiana’s and Rafa’s vocal delivery interplaying against grand sweeping guitar work from Vogg and pounding bass and thunderous drums deliver something really epic.

Iconoclast then does what would seem the impossible and follow-up on Hello Death. Its a fantastic pace and groove. Machine Head’s Robb Flynn makes a vocal appearance on this track. He doesn’t have the same impact as Tatiana brings to Hello Death, but this does a great job at showing the high contrast between Robb and Rafa’s much more potent vocal delivery.

Suicidal Space Programme alone has enough distinct phases for a lesser band to release an EP of individual tracks. Yet somehow Decapitated make it fuse perfectly together into the album’s longest track at 4:59.

Locked is brutal and short – at 1:17 its only a second longer than the intro. But still manages to bridge. Would really have liked a longer version of this as there’s a lot packed into such a short blast wave of fury.

Hours As Battleground again changes the pace. There’s a constant double bass drum beat throughout, whilst guitar riffs are slower and the song has more interleaves with bass and percussion coming to the fore.

The Last Supper begins in a deceiving manner – carrying on the slower pace of Hours As Battleground to gently reel you in before rolling thunderous drums signal the real furious pace. A short lull for the guitar lead before the war drums sounds again, and we’re back into the melting pot.

That’s a summary that can’t do justice to 37 minutes of metal tour-de-force from Decapitated.

Production throughout is superb. There’s so much I still have to digest (having only had 5 listens at the time of review), and I have no doubt this will become a classic (I have averaged a listen-a-day to AntiCult). Each listen reveals more minor details, riffs, licks, beats that I hadn’t previously been able to pick up on. Like most of Decapitated’s work, there’s enough riffs on 1 or 2 songs for a lesser band to fill up an entire album worth of songs.

Rafa’s vocals are as powerful and commanding in their delivery as ever. He hasn’t just pitched another stake in the claim for best death metal vocalist, but driven a massive piledriver through the competition.

It should come as no surprise that Vogg’s guitar work is world class. The man is a genius and makes the most out of his 7-string weapon of choice.

There is a welcome return of Pawel Pasek to bass, and James Stewart makes his presence felt on his debut. There’s really some drumtastic work through with lots of welcome blast beats. I think this creates the strongest lineup that Decapitated have had on an album since Vitek’s tragic death. And it shows on every one of the 37 minutes.

So Cancer Culture stands as an absolutely brilliant work of art, and an incredible achievement to follow-up on AntiCult.


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