After showing that they can do a rather solid Metal and alcoholic themed old school Thrash / Heavy Metal music, the French Metalheads RESISTANCE from Strasbourg chose to upgrade their efforts and present a musical image to an 18th century novel. The band called it "A Tale Of Decadence" and it was released by the local Emanes Metal Records. The picked main story that conjured words of deadly romances, temptations, the downfall of an human being, instruments of Satan and transgression was originally written by Matthew Gregory Lewis back in 1796 under the name of "The Monk".
As the title suggested, this here story was mostly around a Spanish monk named Ambrosio that was tempted to transgress under the influence of a woman disguised as monk. That “monk” was actually an aid to Satan. In the process of Ambrosio's downfall came his deadly deed concerning a young woman named Antonia that he desired and later raped and killed. After that the plot thickened with a move out of the main plot and into a small story that dealt with a guy named Lorenzo and his quest to free his tortured sister that was being molested by nuns. Right after that short recess the story turned back to the original Ambrosio tale that was captured by the inquisition. In order to escape the punishment of his transgression he sold his soul to the devil only to undergo a long painful agony that eventually led to his death. The punch line of this morbid tale was Ambrosio's discovery that the woman he raped and murdered, Antonia, was actually his own sister. So you see that with this kind of story RESISTANCE didn't come to fool around. This time at least…
In RESISTANCE's favour, the choice to lash out their hard music on a great story ground was wise. Furthermore, this choice turned out to be a huge step for a group of folks that only three years ago went loose into directions that were far from the epos they re-created. Besides the theme, which was well selected, the music for the epos was solid and presented a fine mix of Heavy Metal molded with elements of US Speed and angry Bay Area Thrash Metal. Of course, as their earlier stuff showed, this is 80s Metal all the way, yet this time it is relatively more constructive. As I see it, RESISTANCE’s material is like taking any NWOBHM band or the Doom masters CANDLEMASS and shaking those around with the late 80s, early 90s imagery of TESTAMENT.
Along with the narrations that were crucial in order to let the listener truly feel that there is a tale closing in on him, the music diverted between strong, hard to the core heavy riffages to the likes of various types of melodies. Although to such a musical epic additional harmonies should have been inserted, the solos and other lead guitar licks patched the tunes quite nicely. The devilish "The Bloody Nun", classical instrumental "Revenant", Bay Area combustion of "The Rape" and the wonderful ending epic "In Expiation Of His Crimes" were some of RESISTANCE's great musical works.
Another amazing aspect of the lead section is the vocals. Nathaniel, along with some great backup assistance, took his voice into assorted realms. I believe it takes a lot to perform superbly as an angry bull with raspy, even slightly growly, patterns of Chuck Billy, then to switch to the soft, whiny and gloomy pattern of Marcolin and on several areas doing something similar to the old Hansi Kurch voice of the late 80s. Without a doubt Nathaniel’s varied performance on this album elevated the material and the band a one level high.
"A Tale Of Decadence" showed a band that is more than just being young, wild and free (or restless) and this is their only second release. Even though the music is not that original as it served in a way as a tribute to 80s Metal, the ability to construct those rather wild riffages into a musical epic is not something that every band chooses to do on a regular basis.
1. The Preach 2. Loss of Innocence 3. The Bloody Nun 4. A Premature Burial 5. Conjurer of Fate 6. A Silent Kill 7. Revenant 8. The Rape 9. In Expiation of his Crimes