Monday, September 25, 2017

Decatur - Badder than Brooklyn

Sometimes a bio just lets you know what you're in for. Toronto-based Decatur were recommended for fans of Metallica, Pantera, Slayer, Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage and In Flames. Right off the bat, there's a problem here. Metallica? (which period-thrash metal or their first major music video period, dominant snare drum period or ....?), Pantera (OK, same problem but most people only know the Phil Anselmo era). The bio also states that Decatur play real metal for metalheads but later it's stated that they get their unique sound be being open minded to other genres such as blues, rock and roll and even pop.

There are plenty of chugging riffs in "Internal War". It's now clear that the Metallica influence is from their thrash metal period and the vocals are Phil Anselmo style shouts. An 80's style thrashing intro opens "Into the Night" and the band sound great until the vocals kick in. They are nice and clear but the vocalist sounds like he has been chain smoking Malboro and Camel cigarettes since coming out of the womb, which would be great if Decatur were a death metal band but they're more in line with retro-thrash. There is, however a great guitar sound, which is close to being a constant throughout this album but more about that later. The opening to "Vegas Girl" borrows liberally from Pantera's "Walk" and descends into hair metal territory. Maybe this is an intentional tongue and cheek parody of Motley Crue's "Girls Girls Girls" and the singing is supposed to sound like an off-key Vince Neil with a nose and throat full of mucus. A relief comes in the form of Metallica style riffs in the next track "Worst Enemy" and the vocals edge towards Martin Walkyier but sadly miss that mark. This band who claim to play metal for metalheads open the title track of this album with a Sex Pistols riff then go thrash metal. On this tune the vocals fall somewhere between Lemmy and Rob Flynn.

"Bottled Inside" is some mighty fine thrash but for the most part the vocals sound like they're being read for an audio-book after the narrator just came home from a night spent boozing it up. "Tear You" opens with the lyrics, "I just can't take this". I know what the band mean. Actually they get back on track and lay down some righteous thrash here but there's still a mismatch between the song's tempo and the vocals. "Abbaddon" is some fine thrash but there are products you can buy to solve constipation and they could have saved this track. "Shatterproof starts out as a mid-paced metal tune with shouted vocals and then Decatur turn out some tight thrash. The final track is called "Internal War pt. 2" and sounds about as original as the title and pretty much like an instrumental by the band that title reminds you of. This is the best track on the album because it not only ends the album and thankfully, there are no vocals.

There's no way this album is getting post-review play. Brooklyn must be pretty bad.


Release Date: 6 October 2017

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