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Decaying - "The Last Days Of War" (CD)

Decaying - "The Last Days Of War" CD cover image

"The Last Days Of War" track listing:

1. Preparation (1:20)
2. Code Name Overlord (5:49)
3. The Ardennes Offensive (6:02)
4. Firestorm (7:32)
5. The Last Days of War (4:41)
6. Passchendaele (5:57)
7. El Alamein (5:37)
8. The Pacific (9:15)

Reviewed by on June 24, 2013

"They have improved with each album, and 'The Last Days of War' is the most solid output from Decaying to date. Many of the flaws of the last two albums are nonexistent, and the songwriting is finally starting to mesh."

This writer has been keeping tabs on Decaying since the release of their promising debut album “Devastate” back in 2011. The album saw the band spread death/doom with tales of warfare. Every year since then, they have released a new album, and 2013 is no different. The band has improved with each album, and “The Last Days of War” is the most solid output from Decaying to date. Many of the flaws of the last two albums are nonexistent, and the songwriting is finally starting to mesh. Witnessing the slow development of an up-and-coming band like this is always exciting to follow.

For those not familiar with Decaying, they perform death metal that would appeal to listeners of Asphyx or Winter. They do kick the tempo up, though it comes and goes when it pleases. “The Ardennes Offensive” doesn’t wander around with flooring the listener with a death metal feast, opening up an attack from the start. Its eventual calm down into a melodic guitar solo is well done. No one track is purely of a fast variety, and that keeps the album from falling into a rut.

Past albums have suffered from overreaching, as songs went too long on “Devastate” and an abundance of material weighed down their second album “Encirclement.” “The Last Days of War” is just right; no real instances of the band dragging its feet. A few lags do pop up on “El Alamein” and the title track, but they aren’t album killers like they could have been before.

Decaying’s willingness to go far with their song lengths has hurt them before, but it also yielded some great material. This album is no stranger to this balance, as “Firestorm” and “The Pacific” proves. The former is a timid cut that raises the pulse a few minutes in, though it isn’t as dramatic as the latter comes off. A nine-minute closer with the appropriate feeling of a raging battle, “The Pacific” is the band in fine form. Harmonic guitar work, an extended instrumental intro, and a tasteful spoken word passage all do their part to give the album a rousing finish.

Three albums in three years is not easy for most bands to handle, so Decaying gets a share of credit for keeping that consistency. It doesn’t hurt that each release has shown improvement over the last. “The Last Days of War” is starting to show the promise that was on “Devastate” being fulfilled. It will be interesting to see where the band heads from here. Can they keep up the “one album a year” pace? If so, will the quality continue to be consistent or will they hit a creative brick wall? If they hold steady in the direction they are going with “The Last Days of War,’ these questions won’t be much trouble for Decaying to answer.

Highs: Band is showing improvement on every album, shorter and tighter song lengths, knows when to pick up speed and when to let the tempo slow down

Lows: A few spots drag on for too long, doesn't do much new in the death metal genre

Bottom line: Decaying's third album is another step forward for the band after two albums of vast potential.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)