Inner Decay is a five-piece, melodic death metal outfit from Chicago that released their debut album Souls Of War on May 26th, 2018. The production of the album is stellar, because they took their time recording their instruments at BL Lock Studios and doing all the vocals, mixing, and mastering at The Nook Recording Studio.
Vocalist Silvestre Flores has a wide range from growling to frying. Most importantly, his lyrics are comprehensible, which means he has practiced his articulations like a professional. The biggest example of his techniques can be found on the title track “Souls of War.”
Guitarists Tomasz Bielski and Bernardo Mendia have amazing chemistry on this album. You can tell they work together, with their intricate harmonies and extremely well-placed musical phrasing making the album the juggernaut that it is. Their tone is spot on as well and fits their genre of death metal perfectly. It’s crisp, yet ferocious. Their solos are some of the best I’ve heard in a long time. They range from Slayer-esque whammy dives to chromatic-harmonic minor runs. It’s not a feat of virtuosity, but rather a feat of conveying emotion, which they pull off without a hitch. Examples can be found in “Blood On My Hands” and “Down The Civilization.” The album is covered with awesome solos, but those are the best representation.
“An Ocean Away” sounds like a Gojira-influenced song (especially the intro), followed by folky guitar leads that fit. Jarek Badzioch’s bass playing is heard more prominently because of the stop-and-go nature of the song. Like the rest of the band, he’s professional and tight. He also pulls off a tight bass lick just at the right time in “Rot Within.”
Drummer Radovan Cech is the backbone of the band. I love the his drum and cymbal tones, and his kick drum sounds perfect for the mix. He can play slow and tight and switch to thrash speeds without losing his momentum, of which a good example can be found on “World Reduced to Ash. ” He also adds some unique punk-style drumming in it, which sounds refreshing.
What makes this band special is that they don’t imitate their influences, they make them their own. At times I found myself thinking that it sounds kind of like Arch Enemy, or kind of like Gojira, but not like copy cats. I also enjoyed the fact that although “A Reason To Kill” is six minutes long, it doesn’t get boring or repetitive.
I have huge hopes for this band, and if they don’t get a record deal, there’s definitely something wrong with metal labels. For a self-released debut album, it blew my mind, which is why I’m giving it the highest score possible. Hell, I am now a fan, and have just bought the album!
Reviewed by Peter Lountzis
*edited by Kate Erickson