Thinking Plague: Decline And Fall

Thinking Plague’s first release since 2004 is an acquired taste for those who enjoy very eclectic tones and flow. Although Decline And Fall was an interesting listen (at best), it felt like a bad jazz album combined with a nasally audio program. From the start of “Malthusian Dances,” it’s easy to predict the train wreck about to unfold; however, it is nearly impossible to turn away. The piece begins with an Alice In Wonderland like appeal to it, making the end of the album the white rabbit being sought after. As the strenuous release marches on, it’s hard to tell when one track begins and the other ones end. “I Cannot Fly” seems like an extension of the previous track, which means the moment when the train meets its victim is slowly approaching. The promising guitar and bass duel in the beginning projects false hope that the second song will be better than the previous one.

A constant theme throughout the disc is the strong intro followed up by weak vocals and awkward harmonies. The suspense continues for the ultimate moment when the album really blows up, and it comes in the form of the longest track, “A Virtuous Man.” Clocking in at almost 12 minutes, the eerie piece is just about the only tolerable one on the headache that is Decline And Fall. Even with the almost obnoxious banging keys, “A Virtuous Man” is practically a breath of fresh air—for the first five or so minutes. The torturous album is finally over when the finale, “Climbing The Mountain,” enters. Overemphasized lyrics take away from the simplicity of the keys that are present and sporadic strings make way for the best part of Decline And Fall—the end.

In A Word: Wretched