Decibel Demon, are a thrash metal band from New Orleans, USA and on June 1st this year they released their new album “Declassified”.
They’ve described this album as being diverse in that “All songs on this re-mastered release are different, pieces and parts of different genres with different influences swirled about.” It’s nothing special in the music industry to string together a lot of influences and act as a stewing pot for multiple genre, but what is special is pulling it off with finesse.
So, let’s see if vocalist Brian Jeffrey, guitarist Francis M. Howard, bassist Scott W. Latour and drummer Moyses M. Howard have successfully made a blended record or a mess that doesn’t know what genre it wants to be.
Kicking off the album is the song Look Out Lighted and the song starts with what sounds like a distorted alarm but then is revealed to be the vocals, which unfortunately are quite jarring and unpleasant. We’re immediately greeted with a song that sounds incredibly choppy, the guitar and vocals drown out the bass and drums, the guitar solos are kind of ear-piercing and overall the song just sounds like it was recorded in a garage. The next two songs Sinful Operation and Final Holocaust unfortunately don’t do anything to rectify these problems, although I can say that Final Holocaust features vocals that are much deeper in tone and it’s slightly better.
The fourth track, which shares its name with the band, Decibel Demon, begins with a drum fill that goes into a genuinely cool AC/DC style guitar riff. The guitar riff itself features a lot of static and squeaking and sounds all around unpleasant, not only that but the vocals are a bit of a mess and for some reason the song speeds up as it enters a very long fade-out. Space Dusted is next and it opens with what honestly sounds cleaner than anything we’ve heard so far but then is soured when the vocals come in and not to sound too harsh, but they honestly feel a bit like nails on a chalkboard. On top of this, the song just ends abruptly and it’s very jarring.
Up next is the song Say Goodbye and what sounds like is supposed to be a kind of power ballad has come out sounding like grinding guitar and pitchy vocals. Speed Freak is the next song and without further harping on issues already stated I will say that this song has some nice melodies and guitar riffs. Black Night is the very next song and it begins with an eerie intro that feels very akin to the intro of a classic film, the vocals are very spoken and thus sound completely different from anything on this album thus-far. This song feels very punk inspired and features that thrash element that they identify themselves with, the vocals have a cacophonous sound in this song, there’s backup vocals making all kinds of haunting “whooping” noises.
Closing the album is Night Wing, which begins with thrashing guitar, thrashing drums and the chaotic vocals that we’ve come to be used to in the album. The song has an overload of static going on in it that further cements the problems with this album, which brings me to my conclusion and back to the descriptions made at the beginning of the review.
While I wouldn’t say the album successfully blended multiple genres together I can clearly see influences from punk, thrash, heavy metal and rock and roll.
The album has serious issues from the production side of things as due to its recording and mixing its rather unpleasant to listen to as the instruments aren’t balanced and the sound is pitchy and squeaky. These greatly harm the listening experience and if they weren’t a factor we would be looking at a fairly decent heavy metal album, but unfortunately the problems are severe enough to warrant these critiques.
You can check out and purchase Decibel Demon HERE!