Review: DecrepisyEmetic Communion

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Man, do I love Vastum. But this review isn’t about Vastum—at least not quite—though at first you could be forgiven for conflating the two bands. Emerging with their first release, Emetic Communion, Decrepisy features former Vastum member Kyle House as well as veterans of Grave Dust, Bloodsoaked, VoidCeremony, and other venerable death metal acts. House, who moved to Portland from San Francisco before beginning this project, clearly still has some of that Bay Area ugliness to work through in his art. If you’re already into gnarled, chugging explorations of bodily effluvia, this is your logical next Bandcamp acquisition. Skirting the shorter songs and older-school production of other OSDM artists on the scene, Decrepisy has assembled something remarkable with Emetic Communion, at least if you’re looking for some old in your new, some vomit with your UTI.

Decrepisy looking menacing, with one member holding an axe.Like House’s former bandmates, Decrepisy doesn’t skimp on length. Save an instrumental outro, each song runs well over 6 minutes. There’s plenty of time for noodling solos, sickly riffs, and jud-jud-juds throughout, and House handles the grunting with aplomb from behind his guitar. The rhythm section carries its share of the weight here, as well, with prolific drummer Charles Koryn blasting away through long sections of the record and driving each exploration of ugliness forward.

Album opener “Dissipating Form” starts things off right with an accented vocal sample claiming that “we’re going to become aware of our own death,” followed by the dolorous riffage you’d expect on a record like this. “Dissipating Form” is cool but not a standout. However, the following title track brings the heat, with a driving mid-tempo beat and burbling riffs that make its entire 8-minute runtime worth the listener’s attention.

The ideas get more original from here, as if percolating up from within the depths of Emetic Communion. The title track is full of recurring motifs and fantastic guitar work, and third track “Embodied Composition” likewise begins with guitar lines that bring to mind Vastum’s debut Carnal Law in the best possible way. Whirling riffs accompany the song through to its heavy, plodding end. This song, too, is on the longer side, running 6:28, yet it is the shortest vocal track on the record.

The album’s longest song is its fourth, “Abbatoir of Sorrow (Flesh Crucifix),” a doomier song than anything else on this LP. This track is the biggest departure from OSDM form, featuring church bells and chilling graveyard vibes that introduce a more dismal feeling to the record’s back half. At 10:34, this is one of the longest death metal tracks outside of Qrixkuor. Is it brutal and disgusting and full of good ideas? Absolutely. Is it engaging for its entire length? Mostly. Would it be better without getting bogged down between 6:00 and 7:00 in a meandering slow section? Personally, I’d say so. Taking song lengths to this extreme in death metal is a calculated risk, but without either more room to breathe (a sample, some drumless guitar work) or a more consistent deviation from death metal orthodoxy, “Abbatoir of Sorrow” feels a touch long.

“Anxiety Womb,” the album’s only instrumental track, sits at the tail end, a spooky outro for Emetic Communion that allows for a nice come-down from the puke-soaked odyssey you’ve just experienced. Like peers Vastum, Decrepisy creates a musical journey as delightful as it is wretched, as likely to make you want to windmill your hair or take a shower. You can’t call it derivative—rather, it’s adjacent. It’s also a preview of what Kyle House and co. are capable of, a remarkable debut from some very talented musicians. I’m looking forward to seeing them take further departures from their inspirations and find new ways to be revolting on Decrepisy’s next release.

3.5/5 FTOH

Emetic Communion is out now on Bandcamp through Chaos Records.

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