Decline of the I – Escape (Review)

Decline of the IDecline of the I are a French post-black metal band and this is their third album.

I very much enjoyed 2015’s Rebellion, but now it’s time to turn our focus to Escape, which brings us 55 minutes of new material.

The band – led by a single mastermind and aided by two co-conspirators – have developed their style further on this latest album, delving into dark waters to deliver six songs of substance and worth. Taking the base blackened style and building on it with modern and progressive elements to craft an album of scope and ambition, Escape is an extremely enjoyable listen.

Each track has its own distinct personality and flavour. The album has an overall concept, (it’s the third part of a conceptual trilogy), and each song has its own story to tell.

The music on Escape is rich and multifaceted, combining various influences and ideas into its blackened embrace. The overall idea is always to produce music of depth, with a strong emotive core that’s projected by the twisting turns of the guitars, the shaded melodies, and the wide-ranging vocal styles. Further enhanced by occasional electronic, orchestral, and industrial elements, these tracks offer the listener a diverse-yet-cohesive listening experience as they travel through the album’s duration.

This album may operate mainly in the darkness, but still has a good appreciation of the use of light and shade. Everything from corrupt blackened nightmare to ethereal resplendent beauty is explored across these songs at some point or another, and Decline of the I are faithful and knowledgeable guides of all of these entrancing locations.

Escape is quite an achievement. It’s a fascinating and compelling trip into a textured and layered blackened landscape, one that I highly recommend you get to know.

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