It’s pretty tough to find a death metal fan that doesn’t actually like Decapitated. Formed back in 1996 by brothers “Vogg” and “Vitek” Kieltyka, “Martin” Rygiel and “Sauron aka Pig” WÄ…sowicz, the band put out three fantastic death metal albums with its original lineup. Since adding new members, there have been two more albums under the Decapitated name, including the 2011 release Carnival Is Forever. For those of you who aren’t fans yet, here’s ten reasons why Decapitated are more awesome than you. If you are a fan, well, here’s ten reasons why you should continue your appreciation of this fantastic death metal band.
- Upon recording what many consider Decapitated’s best album (Winds of Creation), drummer Vitek was a mere fifteen years old. No, that’s not a joke. He had joined the band in 1996 when he was twelve years old. Think of the things you could do when you were twelve years old. Chances are that playing drums in a death metal band would not be one of those things. By the time Winds of Creation came out in 2000 on Earache records, Decapitated had already recorded two demos with Vitek behind the kit.
- Guitarist and primary songwriter Vogg went to school to study to become an accordionist. However brutal the accordion is as an instrument is, it doesn’t have anything to do with playing metal (unless you’re part of the pirate metal movement), but it does mean that Vogg knows his stuff, having spent time at Poland’s Academy of Music in Kraków.
- Decapitated wrote “Spheres of Madness” and you didn’t. Quite possibly one of the mosh-tastic song ever written, “Spheres of Madness” is five minutes and fifteen seconds of blunt metal force straight to the brain. From start to finish, everything about the song is perfectly simple and unforgiving. Almost impossible not to bang your head the instant you hear the opening riff.
- From 2000 to 2006, Decapitated released four outrageously good albums. Think about this for a second: how many metal bands do you know that can put out more than one great album? How about four? And at a pace of one every other year? What about bands who don’t put out anything that isn’t fantastic? Yeah, it’s a pretty short list (unless you’re a fanboy of a lot of bands). Such incredibly high and consistent performance is to be truly admired.
- Decapitated were churning out great and innovative death metal in a time that the death metal scene had become somewhat stale. In the early 2000s, death metal hadn’t really seen anything new or exciting happen as it was filled with the same great death metal bands from the ’90s. As noted on the band’s Wikipedia page, Decapitated’s debut album came at a crucial time for death metal and played a huge part in the development of technical death metal after it was released.
- The members of Decapitated have so much talent they need to play in more than one band. In addition to Decapitated, Vogg has guitar duties in Lux Occulta and Sceptic, and even did a stint with their legendary Polish brethren Vader. Before his passing, Vitek was pulling triple duty, drumming for Decapitated, Panzer X and Dies Irae. Like Vogg, Martin Rygiel is a member of Lux Occulta. Decapitated’s new bassist Filip “Heinrich” HaÅ‚ucha plays in Vesania, Rootwater, Masachist and Decapitated (and for a couple years, was in UnSun as well).
- Unlike many metal bands, Decapitated have never stopped evolving. Rather than sink into a particular style or form and just hang out until people stopped caring about them, each of Decapitated’s albums are a bit different and follow a rather clear evolution. Never so extreme that it doesn’t make any sense (hello, Morbid Angel), but still a clear step away from their previous work. Even on Carnival Is Forever the band still features a very familiar style for the band, but still fresh and exciting.
- After his younger brother’s passing, and being the only original member of the band, Vogg decided to continue releasing albums as Decapitated.Vitek passed on in 2007, not quite two years after the release of Organic Hallucinations. At that time, the band went on indefinite hiatus. It wasn’t until late 2009 that Vogg announced he had found the right musicians to continue the work that he and Vitek had started. In 2011 we see the finished product, and you know what, it’s pretty stinking good. Vogg has even been quoted as saying “It has been the hardest thing for me to move on without Vitek by my side, but he would have wanted me to continue with the band.”
- The drums on Carnival Is Forever were recorded live and without triggers. Again, this isn’t a joke. Hearing that a technical death metal album was recorded without drum triggers in 2011 is like hearing that someone saw the Loch Ness Monster or a unicorn”it’s just not believable. That being said, it did happen, and it came out extremely well. Krimh’s drumming on the entire album is remarkably clean.
- Just so we’re clear, they wrote “Spheres of Madness”. So what if I’m beating a dead horse? It’s “Spheres of Madness” and it will crush your soul.
Not that you needed ten reasons outside of Decapitated’s fantastic music to become a fan of the band, but those reasons can’t hurt. You can grab Decapitated’s latest album (along with all of their other albums) from most major album retailers and around the ‘net at places such as Amazon or iTunes. Decapitated are an essential addition to any metalhead’s collection!
Contrary to popular belief, many metalheads have hobbies outside of worshipping Satan and headbanging. One hobby that seems to be be a popular one is cooking. In the last couple years, multiple metal-themed cookbooks have been released. There is a mobile grilling truck named after a Metallica album, and a blog devoted to devising cupcake recipes based on metal bands and albums. One thing is certain: metalheads clearly love the culinary arts.
November 29th, 2009 marked the release of Hellbent For Cooking ” a compilation of 101 favorite recipes of metal bands such as Kreator, Judas Priest, Anthrax, Death, Gorgoroth and more ” assembled by Annick Giroux. The book features all types of dishes for different meals, including over thirty recipes from outside of the US and Canada. It’s available through many online retailers, such as Amazon, so get your copy now!
Mosh Potatoes is another similar cookbook released a little over a year later. It features favorite recipes of famous metal musicians such as Jason Bittner of Shadows Fall and Lemmy of Mí¶torhead, but it also includes anecdotes and liner notes from these bandss and artists ”making it much more than just a cookbook. You can also find this one on Amazon.
If you’re not looking to cook your own food, you can always grab food at the Grill ‘Em All truck when it rolls into your town. The Grill ‘Em All truck is exactly what it sounds like: a metal-themed truck that serves grilled food like the Behemoth burger, which is a burger topped with grilled cheese buns, smoked cheddar, applewood smoked bacon and beer-soaked onions. Check out more deliciously metal items on Grill ‘Em All menu. To find out where the truck is, you can check their Twitter page or Facebook page.
If, after all that, you’ve still got room for more, why not top it off with dessert? Check out Metalcakes for some inspired treats. Metalcakes is Kathy Bejma’s blog devoted to custom cupcake recipes of all kinds, each themed after a metal band or album” like the “Edible Autopsy Cake” and “Black Sweets of Vengeance”. As of December 1, 2010, Kathy has amassed thirty-six posts to her blog, each including “Metal Constituents” (ingredients that is) and “Merciless Instructions” (otherwise know as baking directions). The tag line is “Brutally Delicious”. Doesn’t that just say it all?
So, if you’re a metalhead and you love food, just know that there are tasty ways of getting your fix besides music.
At the end of the year, when all is said and done, 10 top albums is simply not enough to give credit where it’s due. As a supplement to last week’s Top 10 of Metal, I’m giving props to all the other bands who did something right this year. Think of the following lists as the “superlatives” section of your yearbook”but for metal albums.
It’s about that time, folks. Everyone and their dog are making their year-end top album lists then checking it twice, and I’m following suit. This has been a quality year in the metal world thanks to releases from three of the biggest acts in thrash metal (Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth), many a breakthrough releases, not to mention some newcomer juggernauts.