01. Strangled
02. The Aftermath
03. As the Fire Burns
04. Annihilation
05. New Order
06. ...To Decay

Matias Nastolin - Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Benjam Lahdenpää - Drums
Henri Hirvonen - Guitars




Released 1/9-2011
Reviewed 12/10-2011


Decaying with their debut album called Devestate, sounds exciting and the fact that they are sold as “old school death metal” makes it even better. The cover artwork also show some devastation at the hands of some majestic bandwagons, something that makes Sabaton fire on all cylinders as they do love such things which is something this finnish guys also seem to do.

Actually nothing that can be seen at face value interest me, I am no fanatic of death metal of the primitive or “old school” style and the cover artwork and logo cannot be said to be that fascinating to me either. But as I do not allow first impressions to dictate what I think of an album, so I look at it objectively every time and will of course do the same when it comes to the finns of Decaying. That is why I had it imported to my player and then have played it a lot but not when I am driving my car as death metal makes me very sleepy.

Musically it is so called primitive or old school death metal, the sound is quite raw and the riffing feels kind of hypnotic. Some classical death metal riffing combined with some atypical riffing, the drumming is not focused on the blastbeats and that kind of thing which is good and makes the album sound a lot heavier than most old school death. It feels as classical death metal, but still doesn’t even though the elements are there like the dark, deep hellish vocals, the raw production but it still feels a bit fresher and the album is quite varied for a death metal album. I think you can say that it is atmospheric, hypnotic and quite brutal the music of Decaying on their debut album.

More often than not old school death metal tend to be so boring that you’d rather sit and watch paint dry, it is usually quite unvaried this kind of music. That is not the case with Decaying, they do feel quite fresh and they do manage to avoid all these classical traps and because of that their music feels brutal, aggressive and with an evil touch which is what death metal is about but rarely is. Maybe it is thanks to the hypnotic riffing and maybe the lack of monotone drumming that does this and makes these very long songs work well through the hypnotic soundscape this band paints through their songs.

One thing that is not always brilliant is the vocals that some times feel out of place, New Order has a clear example in the beginning of the tracks where the vocals feels kind of dumb or just unfitting I am not sure which. In the end though that is a small thing as it is the atmospheres and the power as well as the brutality of this band that is the main thing when it comes to their music. I think they succeeds well and makes good song that grabs me as a listener, not so much that I will listen to it while driving but it does grab me anyway.

But there is also one big problem for me with this album, the phrase “kill your darlings” should be even more thought of for a death metal band but this band does not seem to be killers enough as their album reaches 52 minutes with the six tracks of which several are over ten minutes long which in itself is no problem but the total playing time is as the album is not varied enough. It is varied for a death metal album but that does not really mean it is particularly varied as death metal is not that varied a genre.

I think in the end that this is a very good classic death metal album, one of the best this year but they should have done more killing, meaning that they should have known when to end because if they had done that this would be an old school death metal album that received a five H rating but as it is too long I find the overall impression sinks with every minute it moves past the 40-45 minute mark or something like that. I would say that I still get a very positive impression from this album as it is what traditional death metal should be about so if you enjoy that kind of thing you will love this and if you are only peripherally interested in the more extreme things you also ought to check this out, these finns are good, they just need to learn when to stop.


Label: Hellthrasher Productions
Three similar bands: Asphyx/Bolt Thrower/Grave
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Recensent: Daniel Källmalm

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