Decline of the I is a combination of multifaceted, post-black metal and exploratory lyrics, that dwell on topics of existential philosophy. Originating from France (Paris, Île-de-France), the band was created by AK, who descends from a rich portfolio of past and on-going acts (including Vorkreist, Merrimack, The Order Of Apollyon, Neo Inferno 262, Malhkebre and Diapsiquir), with Decline of the I being his most personal endeavour yet.
While the band’s first three albums were inspired by the works of French surgeon and neurologist Henri Laborit, the new one – “Johannes” – pursues a different approach based on the output of Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, and opens a new trilogy for the band. All music and lyrics were written exclusively by AK, who recorded guitars, keyboards and some of the vocals. He’s surrounded by a full line-up of SI (vocals), AD (bass) and SK (drums).
Johannes will be released on March 26th 2021 via Agonia Records.
Dripping in melancholic bleakness, the thought-provoking and emotive musical chops of this band can’t be understated. Johannes is an exhausting, emotive and down-right savage five-track effort. Where every emotion is put through the wringer and the listener is well and truly left out to dry.
Undoubtedly black metal, unflinchingly post and undeniably combining the two to create a harsh sound. Johannes isn’t a ‘beautiful’ sounding record as you might expect it to be when words like ‘emotional’ are thrown about. However, in the context of ice-cold post melancholy and the utter carnage caused by the raw frenzy of blackened metal, it is simply stunning.
Coming in at just short of 50 minutes, every single track is a deep and dark journey into the abyss. Where paths head off in many different directions and strange, ethereal glows suggest escape might just be possible. However, the wander just keeps going on. The ferocity of Decline of the I being the panic induced state you’ll feel as you begin to lose hope. Then, every so often, a sliver of peace as the paths open up into grand rooms where the story that the band are trying to tell are on display to be seen, heard and understood.
Peaceful and hopeful but as much as you might want to stay here, it’s always time to move on. Signified by the groaning and encroaching darkness. However, the step is that little lighter as there’s no doubt that at some point ahead, Decline of the I will have more to show.
Fans of detailed story-telling and intense post-black metal will be unable to deny the pull this album has on the mind, body and soul. It transfixes and before you even really know or understand, you’re way too far in to turn back.
Decline of the I – Johannes Full Track Listing:
1. A Selfish Star
2. The Veil of Splendid Lies
3. Act of Faith
4. Tethering the Transient
5. Diev Vide
Decline of the I - Johannes (Agonia Records)
The Final Score - 9/10