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Death Decline - The Thousand Faces of Lies

Death Decline
The Thousand Faces of Lies
by Chris Hawkins at 09 January 2019, 1:36 PM

DEATH DECLINE is a band from France that despite forming in ‘09, has only released an EP and one full-length prior to this recording.  Clearly, theirs is a sound built to regulate the momentum of the mosh pit.  Their style blends Thrash and Death Metal into a familiar combination.

The first track, titled simply, “Intro” is just that.  The album begins with a simple melody played by bells that is taken over by large guitar, marching snare, and deep bass.  Suddenly, the floodgates are destroyed and a rush of dizzying double bass takes over.  The first proper track is next, “Bury the Beast”.  It toes the line between classic Thrash, Swedish Death Metal a la AT THE GATES, and Groove Metal like LAMB OF GOD.  It is as there is a competition between the two guitarists to top the other with the sickest riff as everything in the song seems not only to build off everything else, but also to repeatedly up the ante in the process.

Useless Sacrifice,” the third track, shows a band tempered with the will to play with chaos and its decidedly permanent nature of controlling reality.  At times, one almost expects the train that is carrying the riffs and rhythms to derail as it seems to be at top speed and capacity, but instead, the band shows they are capable of pushing things to the very limit without ultimately losing control.  There are even parts in which there are clean vocals, strained though, but still a competent diversion from the norm.  Seventh track, “Beneath the Smile of the Rotten Idols,” is like a potpourri of styles.  At times, one can hear Metalcore in the style of UNEARTH while Rob Flynn’s better MACHINE HEAD riffs serve as the basis for others.  They should clearly have no trouble getting a crowd going in the live setting.

Instrumentally, what is obviously the most impressive aspect of this band is the guitar playing.  Clearly, both guitarists have studied up on the last thirty-plus years of riff history while training their dexterity all the while.  The drums are all bass drum as it is difficult to hear toms or even much cymbal work.  Bass guitar, with a few exceptions, is buried in the mix only to raise its head at opportune moments as if to affirm it showed up to the studio.  What could be the thorn in DEATH DECLINE’s heel, though is the vocals.  While it is admirable creatively to try expanding beyond gruff, growling vocals, the cleanly-sung parts sound strained at best and at worst, like pretentious “core” attempts at bridging genres that should be left alone.

Ultimately, the band stands at a crossroads.  Their future is in their own hands.  For them to get to the next level it is going to take some soul searching and an honest inventory of their gifts and advantages.  A firm and clear retooling of their musical assets and approach should be enough to secure their future role in a scene that can be brutally honest, critical, and polarizing.

Songwriting:  7
Originality:  6
Memorability:  5
Production:  5

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Bury the Beast
3. Useless Sacrifice
4. Until the Last Human’s Breath
5. The Thousand Faces of Lies
6. Network’s Zombies Supremacy
7. Beneath the Smile of the Rotten Idols
8. Red Dawn
9. Man with No Flag
Fab- Lead Guitar
Alexis– Vocals
Mario Henriques - Guitar
Alex – Bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 14 December 2019

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