Erik Cutler has spent a lifetime shaping the American death metal scene. Since 1987 he’s been the principal member of Oakland, California’s gore legends Autopsy. Now, at the ripe old age of forty-seven he’s got an entirely new lease on metal with his new project Necrosic. Leaning more towards the filthy, greasy and grimy side of death metal rather than that gory side, Necrosic sounds more in line with today’s death metal landscape. The band is not only cohesively powerful but Putrid Decimation reveals yet another solid death metal act from southern California (and yet another solid edition to 2016).
America has long been a country that chases progression. The same that can be said about our economic yearnings can also be said about music. To some young people, the death metal of old might sound rote—been there, done that. Well, to those kids I say one thing: “Fuck you.” Death metal has long been metals harbinger of greatness (as least in America). And if the new wave of youthful old school death metal acts reveal anything it’s that you simply cannot mess with experience. Necrosic has experience in bunches and across Putrid Decimation they reveal just how effective solid composition is in conveying a vision grounded in US death metal and laced with global influences. * end of brief rant *
“Spawn of Radiation” is a track that encompasses what Necrosic is about: straight-forward, surging riffs accompanied by stoically chaotic drumming and near viking-like vocal delivery. Straightforward in the way that a band like Immolation would power ahead, the drums are relentless. Particularly, the parts with pummeling double bass underneath throat tearing vocal delivery creates an urgent yet purposeful feel. Further, the brief bass break highlights the bass playing ability of Erika Osterhout (Femacoffin, Scolex and ex-Lycus) often otherwise lost in the mix. Crossing the six-minute mark, “Spawn of Radiation,” like so many American death metal acts before it is full of pitch changes, rhythm alterations and plenty of interesting crescendos to grab attention.
The final track on the EP, “My Casket Drains” (complete with another perfect bass break) is the most upbeat, rocking track featuring a true death n roll feel led by the guitars banging out a simple chord progression. Even the guitar solo falls to a more didactic, less chaotic approach as the accompanying musicians slow the pace and open up to give the lead guitar its space. All in all, the closing track reaffirms Necrosic’s balanced, complete approach to death metal.
Whenever someone with Eric Cutler’s credentials and history is involved in a project the bar is going to be set quite high. Concurrently, the pressure for those in the band to deliver must be equally high. Necrosic delivers four death metal tracks laced with global influences, riffs galore and pulverising production. Putrid Decimation may not be the jaw dropping, metal changing style that seems popular with the kids but, for long time fans of death metal it’s a more than welcome release and addition to the growing positive history of American death metal.