The Fail Decade by Angry Nation Project (Wolfblood Productions) carries a curious name. The mere mention of the word ‘project’ puts me in a state of dis-ease. Right or wrong there’s a connotative quality to it that leaves me wondering how much true effort and focus has been invested in the product. With only one true way to find out, I willfully gave this debut album a few run-throughs, hoping I picked a winner .
Rooted in melodic death metal, The Fail Decade employs a fair amount of thrash elements, and even touches a bit on the extreme side of heavy, returning to their mainstay often. The title-track resides more in the halls of thrash, approaching a Kreator-like tempo and march, but not reaching the dramatic highs or lows of a Mars Mantra, although the softer guitar tones near the end play extremely well. From a 11-song album that does go on a few minutes longer than necessary, this is a heavy metal place the band can build from.
The Fail Decade possesses some unique stretches, that will either grab the attention of the listener or have them pressing next. Take the intro to Weapons of Mass Migration, a bizarre and unneeded piece of overdone drama, that adds nothing to a song that otherwise is solid in its own right. Same, to a much lesser degree, on Blood Money, with a Megadeth throwback start that just dissipates quickly of its own volition before an uninspired mid-tempo track tries to seize with a spoken insert that hints of religious import, then rides out with increased gusto. Blood Money works so hard, attempting to check every heavy metal box, thus wearing itself out in the process.
It dawned on me during In The Name of Race, why this album had me on the edge of head-banging only to look quizzically at my stereo- Angry Nation Project is doing exactly what they set out to do. The keyboards on the aforementioned track confound and frustrate me, but this is Melo-death, and I may not be the proper person to dissect this animal. That feeling was cemented through Visionary Apocalypse, as the extended metal speech of doom broadcast over the notes. The Fail Decade is far more Epic Lair then Death Metal Den or Shepherd’s Flock (for you WLM radio lovers). I want to mold this into either pure thrash or pure death, but melo-death defies those constraints and spirals into directions suited for other fans.
Shepherd Says- 7/10 And, when a band tells you they are Melodic Death Metal, that’s what they are- not what you want to make them into!
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