The band’s 2014 album Devouring was hugely enjoyable. Firmly rooted in old-school Swedish death metal, it delivered 36 minutes of very satisfyingly crushing music.
Fast forward to 2016, and we have Wither; 38 minutes of the same kind of crushing, satisfying death metal.
Yes, Swedish death metal is much-maligned in certain quarters for being too set-in-its-ways and unimaginative, etc., but in my opinion all that matters is how much you enjoy something, and Decomposed are one of those bands that always hit the spot for me.
In some ways the songs on Wither are very much of the style, with plenty of heavy riffs, destructive groove and dense, evil atmosphere. You can’t go wrong with this approach really.
Having said that, Decomposed don’t have as much of the classic chainsaw in their guitar sound as most others that play this style, instead opting for a recording that’s somehow darker and warmer. There’s also less reliance on the usual macabre melodies that mark the style, with the band creating atmosphere via other, darker riffery instead. This allows them more room with their old-school worship, rather than purely playing the traditional Swedish way.
The vocals are as similarly well-done as the music; deep growls that tread the right line between legibility and guttural intensity. The singer has a fine voice, one that’s been employed to match all of its strengths.
With enjoyable songs, riffs, hooks and memorable delivery, Wither is just a very satisfying listen. Decomposed have once more shown they are very definitely one of the ones to turn to when you want authentic, old-school death metal with dark atmosphere and malevolent bite.