Sound: Allow me to make an apt comparison for this record and its predecessor, "Diminishing Between Worlds". In 1991, the band Death unleashed "Human". "Human" was a very profound, fundamental change in the way Death operated and it forever changed the face of death metal as we know it, opening up the gates so that more technical and progressive death metal artists could be unleashed. While "Diminishing Between Worlds" didn't have nearly that much impact, it did show a great deal of mature change on the part of Decrepit Birth. There was a significant increase in melodic and harmonic elements in balance with the technicality they displayed on their first record, "...And Time Begins". In short, "Diminishing" is about equal to "Human". What does this have to do with "Polarity"? Instead of b-tching, read the paragraph below!
In the eyes of many critics and fans alike, the next record in the Death catalog, "Individual Thought Patterns", was basically "Human" on steroids. Better melodies, more complex harmonies, slightly lengthier tracks, and overall better production. "Polarity" shows a very similar growth. They even have a song that spans over six minutes, which is only bested in length by the brutal/technical mindf--k of a title track from their first record. And, in my personal opinion, it is much more creative, elaborate, melodic, and flat out better. It even includes an acoustic passage!
In terms of production value, this is a totally brutal album. Although there's not as many moments of audible bass (which is kind of a pet peeve for me) but the guitars are very prevalent and the harmonies between them are pretty well defined. And then there's the drums. My god, the drums! Incredible! Lord, technical as all hell, and totally in yo face! But not so in yo face that you're like "get these goddamn drums outta mah face!" at least not in my case. Timing is tight, and the double bass pedals on Solar Impulse are beyond impressive. Like I said, in terms of production, I WANT THAT BASS GUITAR. // 9
Lyrics: Death metal faithful, let's make a sad but true admission. The lyrics to our fantastic music are often rendered unintelligible by the guttural growls and demonic shrieks of the vocalists. This especially sad when the lyrics convey such deep meaning. That's the case with this record. I mean sure, you can decipher the lyrics some of the time and time and you can find them in the CD booklet or online, but that's not quite the same as knowing what the artists are saying right out of the gate, at least to me.
In terms of vocal quality, there's a nice yin and yang working between two vocalists, one providing growls and grunts, the other sounding kind of like Gollum rasp, but not quite. It's comperable to what a lot of black metal bands do for their vocals. The vocals are overall make this a more three dimensional record. // 9
Overall Impression: Like I said, this is Decrepit Birth's "ITP". The songwriting is excellent, the technical skills are incredible, and, so far, this is their best record. This is an excellent balance of technicality and melody. There are a few standout tracks on the record for me, and the are, in no particular order, "A Departure Of The Sun (Ignite The Tesla Coil)", "Symbiosis", "Metetron", "Polarity", and "Solar Impulse". Oh and did I mention the Death cover? Yep they do a cover of "See Through Dreams". And they do it very well. It's been said that the key to a good cover is capturing the original essence of the song while still managing to make it sound personal and, well, not like someone else wrote it even though someone else did. And while it's nothing too incredible, it's a fitting tribute to the great Chuck Schuldiner for supplying most of the riffs on this album. Ok that was a little mean.
But, it does sound to me like there are a few riffs that sound like they could have been written Chuck himself which, although it isn't necessarily a bad thing, WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER DEATH. Well we do, but in terms of impact and creativity, not in totally ripping off Chuck's style. I know I'm harsh, but I see great potential here. I hope this band continues to write more and more progressive and intelligent music, continues to refine their style, and eventually writes an original riff. Ok, ok, last bash of the review, I swear. Actually, a lot of their material is quite unique and I hope they utilize more and more of those kinds of riffs as time goes on. Overall, far from a poor release. 8.5/10 on my scale overall. If you like Death, Decapitated, Malevolent Creation, Cannibal Corpse, and/or Cryptopsy, this album is for you. // 8