Decline of the I - Inhibition
Agonia Records
8 songs (58:15)
Release year: 2012
Decline of the I, Agonia Records
Reviewed by Charles
Merrimack and Vorkreist may not be the hippest cats in French black metal; god knows how many different acts would vie for that honour. Now, however, A.K.- guitarist in both those bands- is branching out a bit: Decline of the I is his own project, claiming inspiration from Neurosis and Code, and fitting neatly with current fashions for post-rock influenced black metal. That kind of thing is hardly the uncharted territory it was a few years back, but nonetheless by adding in some swirling industrial beats and some neat, hook-centred songwriting, this band’s debut has a definite attraction.

The album makes frequent use of a simple but effective tactic. Decline of the I often take some kind of short, creepy, melodic fragment to use as a recurrent motif around which lengthy songs develop. Little ideas resurface, pulling the track from room to room, now as metal, now as electro, and so on, giving extended songs a strong sense of coherence and climax. Art or Cancer has a supremely gloomy four note phrase which keeps resurfacing amid temporary diversions into Hacride-like grooving and fuzzy electronica. The ‘climax’ of the track is a surreal dubstep echo of the same phrase- an intriguing assemblage. Similarly, The Other Rat and Mother and Whore both take eerie, gothic melodic ideas which proceed to list between electronic confusion and grandiose metal climaxes.

Indeed, a slightly warped sense of gothic melodrama is a key moving spirit here- perhaps shaping the album’s character much more strongly than the black metal influences which are most obvious primarily from A.K.’s history. Static Involution, in particular, starts with a Paradise Lost-evoking riff and overblown choral ‘ooh’-ing, before dissolving into a haze of strange ambiance. These frequent, enthusiastic trips into electronic ideas are ubiquitous, but this is probably the trippiest of their varied manifestations on the album. There’s a lot going on here, and I’m sure they had as much fun making Inhibition as I had listening to it. But what the fuck is going on with that cover?

Killing Songs :
Mother and Whore, Static Involution, Art or Cancer
Charles quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Decline of the I that we have reviewed:
Decline of the I - Rebellion reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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