Dekadent - The Nemean Ordeal review

Bandcamp music player

9 users:
Band: Dekadent
Album: The Nemean Ordeal
Release date: June 2019

01. Paean I
02. Shepherd Of Stars
03. Solar Covenant
04. Wanax Eternal
05. Lavantine Betrayal
06. Escaping The Flesh So Adamant
07. Death Of A Lion

Starting off with the orchestral intro suggests that this goes in the direction The Deliverance Of The Fall took, an expectation that is quickly squashed for the orchestration aspect, which returns from time to time remaining in the background instead of being a constant, sometimes leading presence, but is otherwise confirmed throughout the album. Again, it mainly uses lower tempos, contains recurring themes, and has a rather dark, somewhat gloomy feel with glimmers of hope and positivity.

As clear a break as the quick guitar starting the first full song is from the intro, before mostly settling into the slower pace and contemplative melodies of the album in general, it is an effective, strong start.

The following ones, despite also beginning strong and having engaging riffs throughout, are a bit too plain and start to drag on due to their length exceeding the ideas put into them, especially if you are not in the mood for such a slow album. They could have used some more variations on the themes present, in the way the standout track "Lavantine Betrayal" shows.

Centered around a wavelike heaving main riff it is still full of playful variations, including continuations of the melody in pinch harmonics in the way typical for Dekadent, as well as breaking up the song with solos and changes in tone.

After a faster track, the album ends with one full of engaging solos, the last one building up to what could be a massive climax but instead gets cut off in an instant. Understandable from the topic, death of a lion, but a break from immersion when listening nonetheless.

The drums are both lower in the mix and played with restraint, held in the background. This lets the guitars, always the strongest aspect of this band's music, be a main focus and flow nicely without getting cut up by overpowered beats. At the same time more presence of the drums and especially percussion in the treble would be nice. Likewise, the guitar tone is far too bottom-heavy, excessively so when compared to the previous album that already somewhat suffered from that, but at least with enough roughness to let the inherent positivity of the melodies shine through.

The vocals, now mostly in a lower growl range than the screams of previous albums and with more frequent, but shorter clean interjections, again nicely follow and augment the guitar melodies. Or at least, that is what they would do if they weren't mixed so loud, which leads to them regularly sticking out and sounding slightly goofy for a similar reason metal vocals without music do.

Very positively noted has to be, for which there is no category on here, the packaging in a matte black digipack with shiny golden letters, which looks impressive.

So, to sum it up, just like its predecessor it is a great album held back by its production and some slightly unfinished elements.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 3

Written by theFIST | 10.09.2019


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Hits total: 199 | This month: 199