The Storm Before the Calm (Relapse)
by Hansel Merchor
The Bay Area combo known as Dekapitator have arguably created the second best old school thrash metal revivalist record. The first, of course, being Municipal Waste’s The Art of Partying. Particularly outstanding is the title track which – via typical staccato riffs, a faster paced mid-section, a vintage shouted chorus, a slaying guitar solo and a fake ending – is simply a classic.
Their first release, We Will Destroy… You Will Obey was unleashed back in 1999 and was recorded by extreme guitar hero James Murphy (Death, Obituary, etc). This time around, with the addition of guitarist D. Attacker, the band is back to its head-cutting antics. The Storm Before the Calm reminds me of the best work of Kreator, except axeman/vocalist Matt Hellfiend has a more drown-out voice. Not as corrosive or menacing as kraut Mille Petrozza. The band that backs him excels at pulling the speed to vintage levels. Where it digresses from the work of a band like Testament, for example, is in the dryness of its material and on the absence of a guitar virtuoso. Nostalgic trip or not, The Storm Before the Calm is worth the time.