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Decline Of The I - Escape (2018) - Review

Band: Decline Of The I
Album title: Escape
Release Date: 27 July 2018
Label: Agonia Records

01. Disruption
02. Enslaved By Existence
03. Organless Body
04. Hurlements En Faveur De FKM
05. Negentropy (Fertility Sovereign)
06. Je Think Donc Je Fuis

French surgeon and philosopher Henri Laborit was a renowned 20th century scientist who studied the brain and its responses to environmental stimuli. Part of his work and legacy has been meticulously examined by A, the multi-instrumentalist and mastermind of Decline Of The I. On 27th July comes to light through Agonia Records, Escape, the third studio album and last part of a concept trilogy based on the works of Dr. Laborit. Decline Of The I is a post black metal band from France and A. is a renowned musician who is active in the metal scene for more than 20 years and has played in bands like Vorkreist, Merrimack, Neo Inferno 262, Malhkebre and Diapsiquir, yet on this album he got some help from members of Merrimack, Anus Mundi, Temple Of Baal, Eibon and Drowning Fame. Since the first album, Inhibition, which was released in 2012 and Rebellion in 2015, the band stands out for its cold and gloomily obscure approach. Far from bringing us a theatrical and unreal darkness, Decline Of The I is cruelly real and scary, the messages "hidden in plain sight" scream in a lethal manner.

Escape consists of six tracks, making about 55 minutes of pure musical hallucination built by a blackened style and interpenetrated by modern and progressive elements such as electronics and industrial with orchestral touches and a wide-ranging vocal styles. With heavy and sinister riffs "Disruption" opens the album flawlessly describing the hallucinations of one of Henri Laborit's patients. From the very beginning the music is quite distressing, perfectly orchestrated by progressive elements and the dialogues between the typical vocals of the extreme metal engage me in this frightening mental journey.

"Enslaved By Existence" starts sovereignly, you will be pulled into the depths and sincerely for me was one of the most scary songs on the album, very disturbing no doubt. A grandiose track with operatic choruses and a few passages spoken in French, as well as distorted voices that give to the track a scary touch. In the middle the music calms down and then explodes flawlessly and intersects with a typical black metal till six minutes and then aquire a depressive approach. "Organless Body" is a typically industrial track with all of the elements well placed here.

From this point I wonder if the next tracks will let me breathe and get out of this hypnotic trance in which I dove. Luckily it's too late for me and I'm submersed in an insane sounding wall at "Hurlements En Faveur De FKM". The bass in the background accompanies again words spoken in French and after that the insane vocals hits my face without mercy. "Negentropy (Fertility Sovereign)" and the closing one "Je Think Donc Je Fuis" are two magnificent opuses, the first one has approximately ten minutes of beauty and the last one is the longest track making 13 minutes.

Special attention must be given to electronic drums, piano touches and a very attractive beat accompanied by fierce and cadenced vocals in "Negentropy (Fertility Sovereign)" and the wonderful chorus on "Je Think Donc Je Fuis". At this point of my critical narrative I'll highlight my favorite tracks from this originally grandiose album. Well, I choose "Disruption", "Organless Body", "Hurlements En Faveur De FKM" and "Je Think Donc Je Fuis".

Escape is in its essence a very dark and cold album and that lives up to the mental torture to which we are submitted daily and that can lead us to complete existential insanity. It's much more then just black metal, it's a a journey of textures and interconnection of gloomy styles. Decline Of The I redefines post-black metal with intelligence and if you are a fan of Blut Aus Nord, you cannot miss this release.

Review written by: Felin Frost
Rating: 9/10