DECAYING - The Last Days of War (HELLTHRASHER - CD 2013)
Imagine a situation that someone plays you an album without telling you what band it is… you start to listen to it and immediately you come up with few ideas:
“Is this new Asphyx CD? It certainly sounds like them! But wait a minute, it is slightly more brutal… then maybe it is an unexpected new Bolt Thrower record? All in all, this music seems to have a very similar attitude. But again, this guy behind the mic sounds like Martin van Drunen, so maybe it’s Hail of Bullets?”
But no, none of these answers are right. What you have been listening to is new Decaying album! I may understand if you haven’t heard about this Finnish death squadron before, but I can assure you they’re not coming out of nowhere, “The Last Days of War” being already their third official album release… and if you worship the classic bands, which I have mentioned above and the traditional, war death metal in general, then don’t hesitate, but get “The Last Days of War” quickly, as in my opinion this is one of the strongest releases of this year.
Some of you may argue about Decaying’s lack of originality or too obvious resemblances to Asphyx, Hail of Bullets and Bolt Thrower, even question the sense of this band’s existence, but I wouldn’t exaggerate so much. Personally I never considered originality to be the most important aspect, which would make the music to be good. And besides, I think that, despite those resemblances, Decaying managed to create something unique and for sure they get more and more individual, even if their music is based on the classic death metal bands. They picked up elements from some old bands, glued them all together, created many devastating riffs and made sure that the music will be utterly memorable, almost catchy and headbangers friendly… and this recipe works damn well here. “The Last Days of War” for sure is an album, which hooked me up instantly and I cannot resist it, having it in my stereo and listening to it constantly for the past few days with maniacal joy and thirst for great death metal riffing. And Decaying for sure knows what the POWER OF RIFF is all about – and if I had to pick up one adjective, which would describe “The Last Days of War” then it is POWERFUL! These riffs are so damn strong, so heavy and aggressive, but many are also catchy... and additionally some parts are nicely melodic, in the vein of the melodic epic harmony of Asphyx. Decaying’s death metal is often slow and doomy, with some marching rhythms and heavy attitude… and I just really, really like, when death metal gets so slow and epic and especially when the add a nice melody to it – like in the opening theme for “Passchendaele” or “The Pacific” – it always freezes my blood and the atmosphere is absolutely amazing and memorable.
When comparing “The Last Days of War” to the previous album “Encirclement” I can spot a great progress in many aspects of Decaying’s music. First of all, I think that the songs are just better, the riffing is ultimate and the whole is more interesting and arse kicking… Then the production value is flawless. This album sounds exactly as I would like to, if I was going to record such death metal album. It is very energetic, powerful and destroys the speakers and the walls, when the CD is played loud – exactly kind of damage, which a death metal record should cause. Finally, Decaying went to their senses and shortened the whole album, for 20 minutes comparing “The Last Days of War” to “Encirclement” – which was a very good choice, I think. The previous album was very good also, but maybe slightly too long, while this one sounds just right to me. Finally, with three full length CDs composed and recorded within three years it seems like Decaying is stronger and stronger, their music gets better and better and for sure this is something not everyone can manage to achieve, especially in such a short time. Well done then, Decaying, I am very pleased with your music and for sure I will be coming back to “The Last Days of War” very often.
Oh, I almost forgot, but I wanted also to write a couple of words about the lyrics, especially as personally I am also quite interested in the themes of wars, II World War especially, but also the first of the great wars is something what I read about occasionally. “The Last Days of War” deals with this theme from start to finish. It speaks about the D-Day, about the fights in Ardennes (siege of Bastogne is one of my favourite scenes of the II WW), about the bombarding of the cities (Leipzig, London, Warsaw or whatever), fights in Africa (Desert Fox is among my most interesting persons of the IIWW) and on the Pacific islands and finally it goes back to the IWW with the battle of Ypres. I don’t need to add that I like these lyrics a lot and it is a great pleasure to read these lines, following the music.
Standout tracks: “The Last Days of War”, “Passchendaele”, “The Pacific”
Final rate: 90/100