"Decadence," as a word, hardly possesses the negative vibe most band names wish to convey. Then you realize this Swedish quartet – once a quintet, but a guitarist departed last year – is fronted by a grrrl. The word is intentionally misspelled to inform the reader she's the growling type. Anyway, aren't all girl bands non-dangerous sounding? Kittie, Nightwish, Benedictum, Light This City, In This Moment, Doro, Holy Moses...the list goes on.
Fruity as their name might be, Decadence are anything but slouches in the aggression department. They play thrash, and true to the genre's spirit, the music bites. For this year's Chargepoint, Decadence have finally crafted a fourth album which should garner them acclaim and an international audience. If it works, the band's profile rises a bit, thereby allowing them to graduate from their status as another obscure European band to the big leagues or at least a career purgatory of sorts until they release a masterpiece.
Chargepoint is a solid album from start to finish (it's rather short at just 37:29), but it's not Decadence's Reign in Blood by a long shot. At least it sets the stage for the humongous follow-up one expects these Swedes should realize someday. However, if they still can't get it the fifth time around, they could soldier on like Amon Amarth or Behemoth and take the long hard road to mastering their craft.
The songs on Chargepoint – there are eight of them plus an instrumental – suck on the life's blood of the Bay Area Titans, the Gothenburg scene, and the eternal metal hallmarks – gallops, fancy guitar solos and touches of the vibrant epic stuff amidst furious tempos. Guitarist Kenneth Lantz definitely has a bright future ahead of him.
Avoiding such clunkers as "Out of Ashes" and "Be Home When I'm Gone," the choicest cuts on the album are "Discharge," "Point of No Return," and the masculine beefiness that makes "Challenge" such an enjoyable listen. Then there's the instrumental at the end titled "The Demons Run" to finish the whole affair with class.
Chargepoint kills on some occasions, misses the bull's eye on others, but judging by the flood of up-and-coming Swedish melodic-core releases glutting the scene these days, Decadence are a breath of fresh but familiar air.
Silent Weapon (For a Quiet War)
Out of Ashes
Point of No Return
Strength of Mind
Be Home When I'm Gone
The Demons Run (instrumental)