The Last Days of War

Last year, Finish act Decaying released their third album, Encirclement, and it was a solid take on Bolt Thrower/Asphyx/Hail of Bullets styled, war themed European death metal. And so here is the follow up, The Last Days of War, and little has changed in the Decaying camp as they still wear the obvious influences on their wartorn sleeves and deliver another solid, if unspectacular slab of war themed death metal.

As with Encirclement, each of the songs on The Last Days of War mostly deal with specific battles, conflicts or theaters from World War I and II. You’ve got “Passchendaele”, “The Pacific”, “El Alemein”, “The Ardennes Offensive” and such. And while the songs are still fairly long (5-7 minutes, plus one 9 minute track), the band has trimmed a lot of the fat from the debut with mostly less meandering songs, getting to the point faster. Once again vocalist Matias Nastolin delivers a spot on Martin van Drunen impersonation, fitting in with the rest of the band’s blatant influences. That being said the band’s overall tone and delivery is much cleaner and polished than the above bands’ heavier, more caustic and down tuned tone. But still, the structures and riffs certainly carry the influences well enough.

As “Initiation” started Encirclement with an instrumental introduction, “Preparation” starts The Last Days of War, before “Operation Overlord” rumbles into view with a classic sounding Bolt Thrower chug. And, as I mentioned already, cleaner tones make the overall sound less intimidating than their peers, but it’s still effective. The songs vary from uptempo thrashier tracks (“The Ardennes Offensive”, “El Alemein”), mid paced trundlers (“The Last Days of War”) and more moody, doomy, evocative tracks like “Firestorm”, “Passchendaele” or the melancholic, standout 9 minute closer “The Pacific”. None of it truly awe inspiring, depending on your like or dislike of the Asphyx/Bolt Thrower/Hail of Bullets sound, but all imbuing enjoyable, war invoking moods and tempos.

Essentially, The Last Days of War serves as a solid placeholder until Hail of Bullets‘, III The Rommel Chronicles drops later this fall, but it has moments of worthwhile death metal warmongering and instantly recognizable influences that could be worth your time if you simply need more of this style.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 12th, 2013


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