Decline of the I - Rebellion
Agonia Records
Experimental Black Metal
7 songs (47:36)
Release year: 2015
Decline of the I, Agonia Records
Reviewed by Goat

A side-project for members of Merrimack and Eibon, Decline of the I's second album is suitably weird. The Rebellion of the title doesn't entirely seem to be against the usual black metal norms, given the gothic, gloomy atmosphere similar to Sweden's Shining, albeit less nihilistically depressed and more downright depraved. French black metal often seems to have a more disgusting feel to it, with Mütiilation, Peste Noire and the like seemingly interested in mankind's ability to reproduce hell on earth as much as a theoretical, Christian hell, and the cover art here suggests a ratty depravity that carries into the actual music. Opener Lower Degree of God's Might serves as a kind of introduction to Decline of the I's world, ominous guitar tones and spoken French leading to creepily yowled wordless singing, throwing in everything from symphonic backing to old-fashioned Burzumic melancholic riffing. It soon builds into blackened speed, a torrent of mad yells and shrieks signifying something of a descent into hell, if a grandiose one thanks to the symphonic moments.

The band soon prove themselves adept at writing varied, interesting, yet uniformly dark songs. Hexenface is a mid-paced crawl that drops to minimalist heartbeat rhythms at moments, driven by some horrific yowls and growls from vocalists G and S and built upon a solid post-black gallop. It's clearly not your (corpsepainted) grandpa's black metal, but is close enough to it to warrant his approval! Le Rouge Le Vide et Le Tordu is the most solidly black metal track present, albeit given a horror-film vibe with some backing keyboards and a weird spoken French section spoiling the effect a little. Yet it's a rare weak spot on a strong album; The End of Prostration is almost industrial at moments, beating drums and electronic sounds providing relentless backing to the vocals, effective even though over seven minutes long. Deus Sive Musica is probably my favourite track on the album, beginning with glitchy electronica and moving through proggy epic black metal, doom, more spoken French; a morass of frightened screams and post-black misery. Trippy and dark, this is recommended for black metallers looking for something a little out-there.

Killing Songs :
Lower Degree of God's Might, Le Rouge Le Vide et Le Tordu, The End of Prostration, Deus Sive Musica
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Decline of the I that we have reviewed:
Decline of the I - Inhibition reviewed by Charles and quoted 80 / 100
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