Dekadent - The Nemean Ordeal review




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Reviewer:
7.0

10 users:
7.20
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.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 11 users
24.09.2019 - 14:27
musclassia
Just listening to this now - have to agree that the production definitely undersells the album. I only know the band through Veritas, but I feel the music isn't that big a step down, but the album sounds really flat at times, which hurts it in comparison with Veritas
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24.09.2019 - 15:54
theFIST
Written by musclassia on 24.09.2019 at 14:27

Just listening to this now - have to agree that the production definitely undersells the album. I only know the band through Veritas, but I feel the music isn't that big a step down, but the album sounds really flat at times, which hurts it in comparison with Veritas

Yes, i"d agree that both Veritas and this are similar in regards to the music itself, very good albums with some room for improvement around the middle, but would consider both of them a clear step down from Venera.
The point of overpowered beats cutting up the flow was about Veritas, but apart from that i"d agree it is produced better than this, but also prefer Venera in this regard.
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Written by Warman on 07.11.2007 at 22:39
Haha, that's like saying "compose your own Metal album and upload it here, instead of writing a review of an album". :lol:
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30.09.2019 - 20:02
Starvynth
i c deaf people
I always thought that Dekadent was quite an overlooked band and their understanding of promotion (small indie labels, repeatedly postponing releases, etc.) didn't really help to change that status quo, so thanks a lot for this review.

I've never really been a big fan of the sub-genre they are exploring, but of some strange reasons, The Deliverance Of The Fall and Venera: Trial & Tribulation are to this date still among my most favorite albums of 2008 and 2011, respectively. 2015's Veritas, however, never really clicked with me and I still don't really know what to think of their latest effort.

'Shepherd Of Stars' and 'Lavantine Betrayal' are for sure good songs, but in my opinion they totally pale in comparison to outstanding tracks like 'A Cry Of Revolt', 'The Renaissance Of Purity' and 'Thralldom Decree', just to name a few of the songs that once made me discover and love this band.

To sum it up, your 7/10 looks like a very fair and well-grounded rating but unfortunately, all the flaws you mentioned are there for real. A bit too plain and starting to drag on due to their length exceeding the ideas put into them" is spot-on and along with the rather poor production the main reason that I'm not even trying to find a physical copy somewhere.
It's a pity, they could have done so much better.
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03.10.2019 - 00:42
theFIST
Written by Starvynth on 30.09.2019 at 20:02

I always thought that Dekadent was quite an overlooked band and their understanding of promotion (small indie labels, repeatedly postponing releases, etc.) didn't really help to change that status quo, so thanks a lot for this review.

Glad it is appreciated, doing what i can despite not knowing how much a review that"s not linked at the front page does.
Quote:
It's a pity, they could have done so much better.

yes, that is frustrating, especially considering the songs that give a hint of how much better they still can do better.

both Veritas and this were deliberately darker, heavier, serious and topic/lyric focused than their prior efforts, which seems to be the wrong way for them.
possibly the best outcome of the review is someone in the band seeing a certain extent of agreement on it, and as a result them creating something lighter, more joy and playful and maybe rougher again, and that way making an album worth promoting to everyone we know again.
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http://metalstormmusicianscorner.bandcamp.com
Written by Warman on 07.11.2007 at 22:39
Haha, that's like saying "compose your own Metal album and upload it here, instead of writing a review of an album". :lol:
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03.10.2019 - 05:14
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by theFIST on 03.10.2019 at 00:42

Glad it is appreciated, doing what i can despite not knowing how much a review that"s not linked at the front page does.

All reviews generate some traffic, mostly between dozens and hundreds of hits over the span of the first month, plus there's those of us who watch the new post section who get drawn in when others comment, so you'll always have some eyes on your content, which in turn could expose new music to curious onlookers.

Which includes myself. I'll have to add this name to my list, though I'm so behind at this point I can't make any promises about commenting on this album any time soon. Nicely written though.
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I have no memory of this place.
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03.10.2019 - 14:12
theFIST
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.10.2019 at 05:14

Written by theFIST on 03.10.2019 at 00:42

Glad it is appreciated, doing what i can despite not knowing how much a review that"s not linked at the front page does.

All reviews generate some traffic, mostly between dozens and hundreds of hits over the span of the first month, plus there's those of us who watch the new post section who get drawn in when others comment, so you'll always have some eyes on your content, which in turn could expose new music to curious onlookers.

Which includes myself. I'll have to add this name to my list, though I'm so behind at this point I can't make any promises about commenting on this album any time soon. Nicely written though.

Good to know, and thank you
----
http://metalstormmusicianscorner.bandcamp.com
Written by Warman on 07.11.2007 at 22:39
Haha, that's like saying "compose your own Metal album and upload it here, instead of writing a review of an album". :lol:
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