A New Decay

Written by: PP on 10/05/2010 06:41:46

If there's one Danish rock/metal album that I've been looking forward to for a long while, it would have to be Boil's sophomore album "A New Decay", the long awaited follow up to their magnificent debut "Vessel" which blew me away in 2007 despite it's obvious Tool and A Perfect Circle references. But with great expectations often comes great disappointment, and "A New Decay" is no exception to the trend. While the album sees Boil build more of an identity for themselves than before, when they sounded a little too much like Tool to sustain credibility across several albums, it comes at a cost. Simply put, the album in no way lives up to its predecessor, at least in the opinion of this scribe.

Where the previous album was thoughtful and introspective, carefully constructing each buildup to an explosion in melody and taking its time in doing so, the large majority of songs on "A New Decay" instead feel hollow and empty, droning along aimlessly towards a climax that never arrives. The latter half of the album falls almost entirely in this category of songs that you'll almost certainly skip on your playlist as they offer no satisfaction to a progressive oriented listener. See the eight minute mammoth "Quiet Hours" for a good example. It's as if the band feels lost in their own sound, even though the instrumental landscape is tight and the band spends enormous amounts of time exploring each corner of their new-found unique identity. Something's missing and I can't quite point a finger at what it is.

Of course, with a band as talented as Boil there are always a few exceptions, such as atmospheric album opener "Redefine", the subtly catchy "Transition", the space-rock oriented "Sleepwalker", or the album's best song, "The Faceless". Here, in particular, vocalist Hansen shows some of that quiet/loud, soft/powerful dynamics that made "Vessel" such a good album. He shifts between whispering to James Maynard Keenan-inspired wailing, eventually making the transition to nearly shouted vocals when the song reaches it's high-point. It's too bad he doesn't break into screaming during these moments because it would make a huge difference, especially in the mediocre material described earlier.

In summary, "A New Decay" sees Boil step out of the Tool / A Perfect Circle shoes, replacing them with a brand new pair handcrafted by the band itself. The problem is that while the borrowed shoes were maybe one size too big (but still comfortable enough), the new pair is struggling to fit properly, causing the occasional heel-blister despite being the right size.


Download: The Faceless, Redefine, Transition
For the fans of: Tool, A Perfect Circle, Blueshift
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.04.2010
Mighty Music

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