I DECLINE – Time To Shine

Band:I DECLINE
Title:Time To Shine
Genre:Stoner/Heavy Metal
Year:2011
Label:Horns Raised Records
Tags: , , , ,
Saturday, February 4, 2012 : 0 Comments

Several months ago, back in 2011, I got a copy of “Time To Shine” to review. This came from the American Stoner Rock/Heavy Metal band I DECLINE. I DECLINE was formed back in 1996, released 3 demos and an EP (“Sunchaser”, 2000), before unleashing their debut full-length “Soundtrackfortherestofyourlife” in that same year. This was followed by “The Ides Of Riffdom” in 2003. Then, no new tunes were pumped out, one of the possible reasons being line-up changes. In any case, that didn’t hinder the band to carry on, play the gigs and so forth.

Eight years later, album no. 3 is out and this since the 2nd August, 2011. Titled “Time To Shine”, it contains twelve grooving songs that float between Stoner and Heavy Metal. The songs are not too long, with an average playtime of 3-4 minutes. But the band did make sure to even add some interesting twists here and there, which only adds to the listening experience and entertainment value, so to speak. Lyrically the songs deal with the aftermath of 9/11, or, mortality, desolation, broken relationships and so on. Since “Time To Shine” is the first release I hear from I DECLINE, it’s a bit hard to say how the songs compare to the previous releases.

The album begins with the title track. Guitars fade in and then *bam!*, groovy Stoner/Heavy Metal breaks loose with lots of energy and pounding. The clean, melodic singing goes well with it. This combo also allows for a very catchy sing-along chorus. However, what I found strange, is that due to the shortness of the track, it sounds more like an extract from a longer one. Maybe it was meant to be short, to the point, but still… Aside from that, it does show the qualities on offer. The drums set in “The Administration”, after which the chorus line follows. the guitars groove well again. Drums are important in the verses, adding extra groove. This is another energetic song, and typical/perfect for live performances. There are melodic touches by the guitars in the verses, while full power is chosen for the chorus. The whole slows down halfway, as if to prove a point (lyrically), like a sort of protest. The guitar solo also found a place in that part. Yep, I DECLINE nailed it again.

“Radiation Day”, as you might imagine, is not about sunshine, hence the alarm and tension in the beginning. The song gets builded gradually and then (again) takes off with the chorus part. The guitars sound fatter in this song and the whole indeed does rock! In the pounding, melodic chorus, drums prove again to be a vital instrument. And not in the least, the singing deserves kudos, too. This brings us to my 2 favourites on this album: “A New Nation” and “Grand Ruin”. The first is a very accessible and catchy song. The drums once more set in with a nice beat, followed by the bass, and those two together already make a great combo. Then of course the rocking verses are done. The singing here is a bit lower than before and I had to think of SMASHMOUTH somehow. The drums remain quite invariable. Melody again creeps in in the bridge, the chorus is again where all action takes place, vocally and musically. There’s also a very nice dual guitar solo over halfway. “Grand Ruin” begins with an atmospheric intro, almost dreamy. No worries, the song does take off soon enough, creatin quite a contrast. You’re instantly awake! The groovy verses feature hymnic singing (with a rough edge), which sounds very nice, I must say. The procedure melodic-bridge-full-power-in-the-chorus is also applied here, albeit that the chorus has a more emotional character. This suits the lyrics better. And to make this great song entirely complete, the band added a semi-acoustic part with percussion and the obligatory solo.

“Karma” then, taking a slow, relaxed start with just a guitar, backing keyboards (if used, of course, else I can’t define it) and the bass. And then the train gets into power mode. The chorus sounds fuller thanks to those keyboards, and very good. The next two tracks were less attractive, in my opinion. “Your Name In Blood” has no intro, rather attacks directly. This is a typical Stoner song, also quite Bluesy. The clean verses, with passionate singing, contrast with the powerful chorus. “Face Of Death” is another pounding groover and melodic at the same time. The clean verses this time contain screamy vocals, while the chorus has a higher input of melodicness. In se these are not bad songs, just not as attractive.

Another highlight is “Her Darkness”, beginning with the drums. It’s a straight-forward rocker with a nice rhythm in the verses. The singing is low. And of course the guitar solo wasn’t forgotten. Another direct rocker is “World Burning Down”, which sounds like the guys listened carefully to IRON MAIDEN. There’s nice grooving in the chorus, which also contains cowbell accents. This adds to the attractivity of the music. I like it. However, it was also, in my humble opinion, the last highlight on the album. “Jericho” is an acoustic, Country-ish song. All in all, an ok song. “Rejoice, Lament” ends the “Time To Shine” as a pounding, groovy Stoner track. Perfect for live performances, no doubt.

With their third full-length album I DECLINE made a very worthwhile release. The songs are to the point, though here and there the guys did add some twists/changes to keep things interesting. The singing is clean and well done. Kudos also goes to the drummer, whose groovy and filling contributions cannot be denied. In fact, all is well here, each member’s input was needed to turn “Time To Shine” into a solid record. Recommended!

 

Tracklist:

  1. Time To Shine
  2. The Administration
  3. Radiation Day
  4. A New Nation
  5. Grand Ruin
  6. Karma
  7. Your Name In Blood
  8. Face Of Death
  9. Her Darkness
  10. World Burning Down
  11. Jericho
  12. Rejoice, Lament

 

Line-up:
Dustin Harnish – vocals
Michael Pesavento – guitar
Dan Dominiak – guitar
Patrick McLaughlin – bass
John Doyle – drums

More info at http://www.i-decline.com/
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