Sunday, 7 March 2010

Dekadent Aesthetix - Dekadent Aesthetix [ALBUM REVIEW]

01. Audio Curse From Transilvania (1:13)
02. Plethora (3:44)
03. Suicide Hobby (5:04)
04. 17 (Ladytron cover) (3:23)
05. Track 0 (4:32)
06. Rock'n'Roll Machine (6:21)
07. Ziua in Care Decizi Sa-ti Cumperi o Arma (4:56)
08. Incantatie (8:44)
09. Shyny Morning (2:10)
10. Whore Rifflefuck (5:18)
11. Prohodul Domnului (7:27)

Dekadent Aesthetix are a strange band. Previously having only heard their split with the eccentric 'Joyless', I was waiting this release eager to hear with what oddities they would come up with next. It's impossible to pin a sound on them, for the split with Joyless was a mix of searing, almost shoegaze like guitar lines, and an avant-garde form of post punky black metal, with an almost carnival-esque attitude to it. Their debut album basically follows on from where they left off on the Joyless split, but shifting up a gear.

From the off, it is clear the band don't appear to take themselves too seriously. Song titles such as 'Audio Curse From Transylvania' and 'Whore Rifflefuck' make it clear from the off the band are obviously not the norm of 'Post Punk Black Metal' such like Swedish self harmers Lifelover or the French gloom peddlers Amesoeurs. Even the intro is obscure, which is something sounding like a deaf leper playing 'Auld Lang Sang' on a badly out of tune fiddle. The music sways between fast, tremelo picked black metal with snappy, rasping vocals and a long, contemplative guitar wash which recalls the likes of My Bloody Valentine among a plethora of other styles. The vocals can never really be pinned down to one style, as they are never exactly the same on each song. Take for example 'Suicide Hobby', one of the highlights of the album, it sounds as if Prong invaded a Jesus Mary Chain recording session, and each side as it were are battling it out as the song alternates from chugging riffing to extensive pedal abuse on a 10th generation Shergold. The vocals in this song have a heavy reverb effect to them, slightly raspy but not enough to be called 'Black Metal'.
'Rock n Roll machine' almost have a stonery feel to it, and again those hollow guitar passages appear amid the chugging riffs and moping vocals. The harsh vocals on the album remind me of Nocturno Culto's style, short throaty rasping. One song which I feel I must comment on is the fantastic, dreamy 'Track 0'. It was originally on the split, but the band have re-recorded it completely and it shows. It is almost purely instrumental, consisting of a lightly strummed acoustic guitar at the start, before eventually succumbing to a sullen piano melody combined with a spacey swirl of a guitar lead which ascends out of the wash of melancholy and soars above all else. There are no vocals as per-se, rather an angelic female voice appears towards the end of the song, not singing anything as such, but following along with the ebb of the guitar which only increases the celestial nature of this piece. For me this song emanates everything that was great about the dream pop of the early 90's, the sweet mystical vocals and hazy guitar tone so synonymous with the genre. It's a pity this song is the only one really like it on the album. Other songs do incorporate this style, but not exclusively like 'Track 0'. That's not to say the rest of the album is bad, far from it, the rest of it is so different you can't really be expected to compare them.

I would recommend this album especially to fans of the Amesoeurs album, as they draw the same influences, and sound fairly similar, but are a lot more diverse and eccentric. If you like the idea behind Lifelover, but can't stand the vocals and theatre, then the least you could do is give this album a try at least. It isn't flawless, some parts do wane, and the 'strangeness' and diversity as it were, can also be slightly jarring, but the pros do out-weight the cons. They even managed to fit a Ladytron cover on the album. However the fuck did they manage that? It's ….'special', I'll give them that.



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