Album Review: Decline Of The I – “Rebellion”

Decline Of The I
(Agonia Records)

This second album from the French multi-instrumentalist A.K. features an even more bombastic and experimental taste in post black metal than ever before. Most notably recalling Deathspell Omega at their wackiest, this record also seeks to further intensify the listening experience with an ever growing multitude of twists and turns. Featuring extremely bombastic pieces like the electronic and orchestral fare of “Deus Sive Musica” should instantly give you a clue of what we’re talking about here. There’s no guidebook to follow, no map to be had. Sometimes it even sounds completely sporadic, but that seems to be the beauty of the whole experience. I’m really not sure what black metal traditionalists… no, that’s almost a joke in this case, because I strongly doubt that kvltists will enjoy this record even one iota of a percent. It’s sure to elicit the bitter tears and cries of corpse-painted individuals who stumble around and wonder, “What the hell happened to my black metal?” Yes, my friends; this is something completely different, even though it’s being compose by those who certainly know a thing or two about crafting all sorts of black metal mixtures. Members of Vorkreist, Merrimack, Neo Inferno 262 and the incredibly twisted Diapsiquir make up this project (if you have not heard a Diapsiquir record then I’d highly recommend that you do so, albeit with extreme caution) as well as Temple Of Baal and Drowning. Nearly all of the music created in those respective bands seems to in some form or another come crawling out from the depths of this monstrous machine, which is by far one of the strangest, yet most captivating black metal records that I have gotten my hands on in recent memory. Now I’m quite aware that Norwegian experimentalists Dodheimsgard are also releasing an album this year, but I even think that they will have a problem trying to one up the exquisitely bizarre performance laden within this album. I say this very rarely, but there isn’t really anything quite like this recording as far as black metal is concerned and you’ll notice that instantly. As you keep on listening, it just gets weirder. With every song that passes, you either start to become enraptured or confused with the performance, depending on solely what kind of person you are and how you observe the world. Rebellion literally represents a rebellion that’s not only against what we perceive as black metal, but what we perceive as music period. It seeks to tear apart all known boundaries and manages to crumble up all of your expectations and throw them right into the waste bin. This is the sound of unhinged abstraction and I think that it will greatly appeal to those who are looking for more of an artistic edge to their music, but in such a way that it blurs lines and become downright unlistenable to some people. It’s an album that makes you work very hard, but in the end you’ll find that the struggle paid off and the performance was simply electrifying. While not for everyone, I feel that this Rebellion truly succeeds in tearing down the walls completely, while bringing total musical anarchy. (Eric May)

Purchase Rebellion here.

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