Personnel: Bill Robinson (vocals); Matt Sotelo (guitar, keyboards); KC Howard (drums).
Audio Mixers: Matt Sotelo; Zack Ohren.
Recording information: Legion Recording Studio; Shark Bite Studios.
Photographer: Ed Dickie.
Many death metal bands will experience countless lineup changes without significantly altering their sound; it isn't hard to find death metal bands that have gone through five or six drummers, three or four lead vocalists and several different guitarists yet still sound pretty much like they sounded 10, 15, or 20 years ago. But other death metal bands have evolved stylistically when their lineups evolved, and Decrepit Birth is a perfect example. The Californians started out with a hell-bent-for-speed outlook and a strong grindcore influence -- Cannibal Corpse have often been cited as one of their early influences -- but by the time they recorded their second full-length album, Diminishing Between Worlds, in 2008, their approach had become a lot more technical and certainly more Scandinavian-influenced. And the Californians continue in that more technical, more Scandinavian-influenced vein on their third album, Polarity. Decrepit Birth still offer plenty of thrashiness, but nonstop speed from start to finish is not the name of the game on this 2010 release. Tempo changes are an important part of the picture for this more technical version of Decrepit Birth, who are also somewhat more melodic than they were in the beginning. That isn't to say that Polarity is full-fledged melodic death metal in the way that At the Gates, In Flames, or Age of Ruin are melodic death metal; rather, parts of Polarity are relatively melodic compared to Decrepit Birth's 2003 debut, And Time Begins. Decrepit Birth's real priority on Polarity is technicality, not melody -- and there is no shortage of shredding or pyrotechnics on this 38-minute CD. Even if technical death metal isn't one's cup of tea, no one could honestly accuse Decrepit Birth's 2010 lineup of lacking chops. And for those who do appreciate technical death metal, Polarity isn't a bad listen at all. ~ Alex Henderson