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Never trust the hype! That’s what comes to my mind after several spins given to Saille’s debut offering Irreversible Decay, but don’t get me wrong, we’re still dealing with such a symphonic black metal album that puts many others in the field to shame.
Saille plays professionally, that becomes clear in the beginning already when the well-played acoustic intro ”Nomen” escorts the album to its first metal blast entitled ”Passages of the Nemesis”, a true sea of tremolo picked riffage where the roughness of rock instrumentation meets the melody of real (!) orchestral instruments. The inclusion of proper orchestral elements is a definite plus, making Irreversible Decay differ from all the cheap synth orchestra black metal bands out there.
Compositionally, the songs are rather diverse and technical, but lacking the spark of originality too. What I’m mostly hearing is Keep of Kalessin combined with some Dimmu Borgir - not that that’s a bad combo, but it does make the album sound a little tame. The tameness and safeness is a problem I have with a lot of modern sounding black metal albums (e.g. it doesn’t matter how fast you play those damn blast beats if they lack all necessary barbarity), so if you don’t mind well produced black metal with modern compositional and productional values, forget what I said above and just enjoy.
There are some true gems among the nine tracks, such as ”Maere” and ”Tephra” which have some of the most grabbing melodies of the bunch, not to forget how much is given space to the orchestral instruments, and it works like a charm. None of the tracks are certainly bad, just somewhat unsuprising. Irreversible Decay is most certainly a positive experience (in spite of all the negativity I gave space for in this review) that all symphonic black metal lovers should look into; for me, a lot more unpredictability would be needed to really impress me, but I’m still enjoying this to a good extent.
3 / 5
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