Detente - Decline 3.5/5
1. In God we trust
3. Kill rush
4. Degradation machine
8. This is not freedom
I am amazed that this marks my first CD review written in 2010. I have undergone serious soul reflection toward my writing style. With the tragic death of Dio, and mind-blowing mettle-physical finale of "Lost", I feel I am ready to begin again, and sally forth!
'Decline' is the highly anticipated sophomore release from Detente. With the unexpected demise of femme fatale Dawn Crosby almost 14 years ago, after her brilliant work with Fear of God, one would never had expected this band to ever reform.
They released their 'History 1' demo compilation in 2008, and asked Hellion's vocalist Ann Boleyn (Ann Hull) to assume vocal duties. Ann was too pre-occupied with finishing her Law Degree, and re-establishing her label - New Renaissance Records. My guess is she did this so she could sue anyone who dared to bootleg her originally signed 80s artists. She bowed out in last November, after having played some festivals like HOA, and Tiina Teal assumed the screaming banshee role.
Tina may not resemble Dawn in visage with her flaming red locks and tattoos, looking more like Candace Kucsulain from Walls of Jericho; but, she makes up for it with her genocidal singing capabilities. This cataleptic front-woman wickedly walks in the shadow of the late speed queen.
I am a strong supporter of the 2 Catalepsy demos when Veronica Ross replaced Dawn, and the band went in a more Sacred Reich meets Nuclear Assault direction. Thankfully, guitarist Caleb Quinn and bassist Steve Hochheiser bring the spirit of both Catalepsy and Metal Blade era Detente back to the fold with a modern thrust. All illusions will be shattered as to if this resembles any new femme-metal thrash act like the god-awful Light This City, or aforementioned Walls of Jericho.
Nevada's own Slaughter bassist Dana Strum produced their debut 'Recognize no authority'. I am amazed that he turned down an offer to play with Ozzy back in the day, instead choosing to focus and remain in Vinnie Vincent's Invasion. Either way, 'Recognize' is such an 80s-era classic when, then, in the mettle milieu, the only female fronted acts were either punk-oriented like Acid, Holy Moses, Wendy o' Williams or truly traditional like Hellion, Sentinel Beast or Warlock.
Fans of these types of bands will enjoy Detente with their thrash, punk, crust, and sometimes melodic edge. I had endeavoured to make this review rather laconic, as the only downside to the new Detente CD is its length of only 35 minutes. "Predator" has that "Vultures in the sky" swift wind sting, and occasionally reminds me of the punishing chorus from same named song on the masterful new Anihilated CD 'Scorched earth policy'.
"Genocide" feels like the instrumental "Catalepsy" has been given a new life, and it also sounds like an homage to the underrated Japanese thrash act of the same name. The hollow whisper which initiates the "Degradation machine" head spins into a pulsating and pounding chorus; while "Decline" epitomizes all that this CD represents musically and lyrically. "This is not freedom" has an almost inaudible vocal scowl, but Tiina's timber is intentional in its suggestion of vehemence and strangulated truth.
Overall, there are no winners like "Russian roulette" or "Holy wars" from the debut, but the songs sear with a blood rushed recognition of a world run by weak willed losers; where life is eternal pain. The closing number "Ashes" begins with a soft acoustic, and then erupts into a blast of insanity; thereby implicating that stillness and peace is interrupted by chaos and dissonance, which eventually leads to decline. "Welcome to the land of rape and money!"
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