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When technical prowess and melody converge. - 85%

karma_sleeper, August 16th, 2008

Few bands are capable of crafting the balance between technical ability and engaging song writing the thrashers of Decadence have forged with their aptly named third release (on their own label no less), ‘3rd Stage of Decay.’ For musicians so young, this album is brimming with a mature sound coupled with ear aching melodies few will have the courage to call too cerebral or overbearing. With all this sophisticated aggression, you’ll be hard pressed to find reasons not to enjoy it.

It all starts with lead vocalist Kitty Saric, or Metallic Kitty. Saric manages a level of emotional delivery not often heard. Whether it’s a screeching wail or deep growl, Saric’s voice effortlessly captures the intended message of the lyrics. And the lyrics are as thoughtful and intelligent as the music. Images of suffering, hatred, and despair are most prevalent. The lyrics simply would not have the same effect if invoked by anyone else’s voice.

But there is more to Decadence than well written and delivered lyrics. Tracks shift from the technical yet melodic thrash already praised to sounds more akin to melodic death metal. Both come across exceedingly well as the riffs and vocal delivery adjust accordingly with ease. Those seeking a more consistent thrash release, however, might find themselves disappointed. If you don’t mind the periodic shifts from flat out aggression to groovy technicality, you will survive. ‘Theater of the Absurd’ presents an excellent example of a solid thrash song. Things never become overly complicated without impressing you with playing ability. The opener, ‘Corrosion,’ is a perfect example of the death metal leanings. It starts off fast and never slows down. In both cases, mesmerizing rhythms get into your head as soon as they begin. Other tracks fall in the middle of this spectrum exemplifying Sarin’s full range and the band’s mastery in form and execution of both styles.

Decadence is a band that knows exactly what they want from their music and precisely how to make it happen. While some people might get turned off by the mild identity crisis of certain tracks, there is never a dull moment. For such young musicians, ‘3rd Stage of Decay’ captivates with a maturity and presence all its own. A must listen for anyone seeking some thrash with a mean face.