On their fifth album Finnish death metal band Decaying have circled back around to refine their original vision and in turn delved further into both death/thrash and doom influences. ‘To Cross the Line’ is also their best sounding production to date with a huge and impressive guitar tone tailored for their dramatic style of old school death metal. Though the band couldn’t full escape their influences without losing their core musical personality a lot of those comparisons are weakened by improved pacing within compositions and the overall track-listing of ‘To Cross the Line’ which kicks off with Carcass-esque ripping title track. That set of thrash riffs did a lot to pull me in for the full listen and the variety and tank-blasted production held my interest until the album melted off into the sunset with “Futile Effort”.
To bask in the comparative pool of bands like Asphyx and Bolt Thrower is both honorable and confining, I’m sure. To think a mediocre group like Hail of Bullets would be the closest comparison to anything is kind of rough, though. Decaying absolutely always pulled inspiration from specific eras of each group but unlike many other bands in this style they don’t seem to pull from say Dismember (see: Vore) or Incantation and instead stick to their guns. The additional thrash riffs here begin to remind me of what Horrendous was experimenting with on ‘Anareta’ though the core of Decaying’s sound is still Asphyx circa ‘Last One on Earth’ and Bolt Thrower‘s ‘…For Victory’. I could just as easily point towards Unleashed and early Vomitory for those thrashier riffs now.
The main songwriter here Matias Nastolin is also a prominent member of Altar of Betelgeuze and the exceptional quality of their last full-length seems to have bled over here into Decaying. Though it seems odd to praise the faster thrash riffs on this record and similarly call for more doom riffs, it is only because I was so impressed with what he did on ‘Among the Ruins’ in 2017. Decaying have perhaps fine-tuned and perfected this style of death metal to a science, I can’t conceive of what they could do to improve upon the sound and composition of ‘To Cross the Line’. Their best album to date.
|Released||January 19, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Decaying on Facebook|
Through cruel terrain. 3.5/5.0
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