Decline Of The I    


Agonia Records 2012

French post-black metal isolationists, Decline Of The I build tension and mood through cold, clinical guitars and minimalist moods.  Inhibition is their debut album and it creeps along with steady, deliberate riffs that are stretched across a stripped down framework.  Ou Se Trouve La Mort utilizes sterile riffs and spoken word samples to create an atmosphere of philosophical darkness.  Then this intro of sorts is washed away by the End Of Sub-Elitist Addiction.  Melodic riffs and dismal, nocturnal soundscapes drag across your speakers like a desolate city at night, devoid of life and bathed in pale light.  Mechanical textures rise from the misanthropic void as the song progresses.  A definite "post-black metal" style breathes through the industrial lungs and electronic beats of the song.  Art Or Cancer washes away full riffs as it begins and then ushers in large, meaty riffs.  I am reminded of a nice middle ground between Antithesis era Secrets Of The Moon and Ceremony of Opposites era Samael.  And of course this applies to the album as a whole.  The dark, almost melancholic riffs and midtempo, near-mechanical pacing are suited to each other.  However, the album is too long for its own good.  At nearly an hour I start to get bored with the minimalist approach that I see continue to come at me like low-powered robots.  But back to the song, there is a moment of sheer genius that appears at the 2:27 mark as the guitars are warped and waver as they filter in from the darkness.   At the 5:40 mark the song feels the brunt of a full on electronic injection, a mechanical beat and fuzzed out synth sounds.  L'indecision D'etre begins to draw along with simplistic riffs and an uninteresting beat, then the song takes a turn into the metaphysical with spoken word samples and warped, sour guitar notes.  The finishes its arc with dancier beat that reminds me a bit of Norway's V:28.  Decline Of The I has moments of brilliance and creates a certain nocturnal existentialism with its songwriting, however there is also long periods of drawn out riffing that do nothing but fill space.  There is definitely some space filler on this album, however Decline Of The I do manage to create truly interesting periods in their music that are unique and manage to fill the listener with misanthropic sorrow.  This is an album for the philosophical hermit, lost in his own halogen illuminated misanthropy.