Decrepit Birth - Diminishing Between Worlds
Unique Leader Records
Technical Death Metal
11 songs (44:44)
Release year: 2008
Unique Leader Records
Reviewed by James
Album of the month

Diminishing Between Worlds is Decrepit Birth's first album in five years, the band having gone through several line-up changes, including certain, ahem, “legal troubles” involving an ex-guitarist. Anyway, the band are something of a breath of fresh air into today's death metal scene, where so many bands are simply content to smash your head in. As you may have guessed from the Dan Seagrave painting on the cover, Decrepit Birth are a throwback to the early 90s glory days of the genre. In particular, the Floridian trifecta of Death, Atheist, and Cynic. It's perhaps a little more brutal than the three aforementioned bands, and the thrash influences are played down a bit. Of course, it's not 1993 any more, and Diminishing Between Worlds features a slick, 21st Century production, a far cry from the distinctive Morrisound/Scott Burns combination that was everywhere back then.

I'd don't mean to write the band off as mere Death clones, as the band have very much their own sound. They strike the similar middle ground between brutality and melody that personal favorites Arghoslent use so well. Though thankfully, Decrepit Birth don't have the same nefarious racist overtone to their lyrics. They lean to the cryptic, esoteric end of the spectrum, and damned if I know what they're singing about. Anyway, the band are definitely one of the most forward thinking acts around today. There's a tasteful presence of synths throughout the record, something rarely seen in death metal (no, I'm not counting The Unspoken King). They're mainly simple-toned washes, but adds an extra melodic layer that lends the band an unique feel.

As you'd expect from this sort of thing, it is not catchy in the slightest. The songs occasionally seem like some sort of world record attempt to fit as many riffs in a four minute time span as possible, and I'm sure the relentless note-stuffing will lead some to criticise Diminishing Between Worlds as merely another exercise in technical flash as opposed to good old-fashioned songcraft. Yet even when the music becomes utterly unfathomable, Decrepit Birth have a special something, something that keeps everything strangely listenable. Perhaps it's those brief mellow respites that sound like outtakes from Focus that give us something to hang on to as the music wanders around the cosmos. Perhaps it's the outstanding lead work, used to gorgeous effect on album highlight Dimensions Intertwine.

I've got to admit I only really listen to the jazzier, more technical end of the death metal spectrum, something that seems to be lacking in much of the death metal about today. Decrepit Birth have crafted the death metal album of the year here, and I hope they keep pushing ever forward, becoming progressive in the true sense of the term. The late, great Chuck Schuldiner would be proud.

Killing Songs :
Diminishing Between Worlds
James quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Decrepit Birth that we have reviewed:
Decrepit Birth - Polarity reviewed by Crash and quoted 78 / 100
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