Acephalix have been away for five years, but the San Francisco death metal band haven’t missed a beat, following up 2012’s Deathless Master with Decreation, an album that is so intense and heavy, you’d think the band hadn’t broken up (see the full album stream at the bottom of this story for further evidence). Which makes sense, because, according to guitarist Kyle House, they hadn’t.
“We never broke up,” says House. “We all stayed connected through different bands—Vastum, Necrot, LAWLESS, Perish, and some that never got names. It was time for a break; Acephalix needed to hibernate.”
“Life got in the way,” adds drummer Dave Benson. “All four of us became involved in other projects, and not just musical ones. Family, careers…”
The album’s seven songs race past in a 39-minute blur of high-energy, punk-infused death metal, with intense lyrics to match the intense sounds. Vocalist Dan Butler says the songs revolve around topics such as “spiritual dismemberment,” “self-fragmentation,” and “psychic gore.” Case in point, kinda: the song “God is Laughing.”
“‘God is Laughing’ is about losing your head and wanting it back,” he says. “You might think it’s really serious, losing your head, but God just laughs. And when you laugh, you become a god too. But the laughter doesn’t just come. You gotta suffer for it.”
The intense lyrical concepts carry through to the album title, which continues with the themes of physicality and how it ties in to spirituality. And, of course, it ain’t positive.
“’Decreation’ is about the falsity of a whole body/unified self and about restoring the absence that rests at our core, eviscerating us from within,” says Butler. “It’s about the impoverishment of politics and religions that glorify a unitary self. It’s about how psychic energy spills like blood when the psyche-soma is torn apart. It is what it sounds like: de-creating over and over, but not un-creating as in undoing some original creation once and for all.”
House says that the 39-minute runtime is “quick and dirty,” I say it’s ideal for music like this, and Benson agrees.
“To me, that’s the perfect length,” he says. “’Too much of a good thing’ is a real concept. Whether on record or live, I like the experience to be akin to being pummeled ruthlessly—but then being left wanting more.”
Stream Acephalix’s Decreation right here: