Illusions Dead – Celestial Decadence (2016)

illusions dead

Article by Corey M

Illusions Dead put this descriptor on their Bandcamp page; “black/death metal with influences from bands like Gorgoroth, Anata, Insomnium, Intestine Baalism and more”, but what these Finns actually offer with Celestial Decadence is a shareware version of Slaughter of the Soul 2.0, now with even sappier melodies that won’t alienate the ex-emo kids who are looking for the next edgiest music culture from which they can leech a persona.

Generally, any given song on this album starts with two guitars playing some volleyball-style counterpoint with a relatively cool-sounding riff. The drums punctuate when necessary, and then the vocals come in and the whole experience deteriorates. Aside from the opening track (which features a more effective low-end growl), all of the vocals sound like a half-assed take on later Gorgoroth’s shrieking style, but more forced and less congruent compared to the brittle guitar tone. The vocals (and drum mixing) only deserve a minor critique though; the real problem with Celestial Decadence is the total lack of energy and motivation that bogs the entire album down.

The best riffs in the album are short-lived and are essentially half-assed plagiarisms of At the Gates melodies. Spontaneously switching between up-and-down single-string melodic patterns and chugging percussive cadences can’t save the utter lack of passion and purpose in every musical segment. When I imagine the recording process of this album I actually picture a couple of rock band guitarists being held at gunpoint and forced to jam out pointlessly “metallic” riffs that will later be organized by a randomizing program and pieced together by a computer that doesn’t know a thing about composition except for the absolute minimum level of human tolerance for illogical irregularity.

Lacking a single distinct riff (except for the particularly emo-sounding middle-and-end section of “Shadow and Flame”), this album flew right past me even after several listens. The musicians definitely have a refined sense of when a melodic pattern becomes too boring to repeat, but they seem clueless as to the efficacy of the melody itself in the first place. I can’t recommend this album to any sane person, except for maybe masochists.

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15 thoughts on “Illusions Dead – Celestial Decadence (2016)”

  1. Stephane says:

    great ! I bought there album \m/

  2. Ara says:

    Well, I’m gonna give it a try. if it is true to its description, I’m hoping at the very least for some good melodies.

    1. Ara says:

      Skimmed 30 seconds of each tune, these Zakk Wylde harmonics are killing me

      1. vOddy says:

        Where in the U.S do you live? I’m in Connecticut now as a holiday and would like to play KoF 98, which I have heard that you enjoy.

        1. Ara says:

          Milwaukee. 98 is really fun but my favorite may be kof2k2um. Do you play on ggpo? How do you think kofXIV is shaping up?

          1. vOddy says:

            I play on Fightcade. I switched from GGPO when GGPO was down.

            The new KoF looks like it’s going to be okay, but I wish that they would focus on improving upon classic KoF by fixing its flaws and adding new interesting stuff. There’s just no progress.
            Anyway, I’d pretty much be satisfied with standard KoF as long as it was balanced and they got rid of the ridiculous CD counters that are in 98 (which, thankfully, have been toned down since).
            The problem is that without any actual changes, it’s not going to be balanced. It’s going to be the same as KoF has always been, with mid and low tiers being able to fight against the top tiers if the player is superior, but still having a significant disadvantage.
            I’m not going to write an essay about it, but those are my thoughts in summary.

            I don’t know where Milwaukee is since I’m not from the states. I’ll look it up on a map. If it’s close to where I am, then I challenge you. :)

            1. Ara says:

              How long are you in the states? My week is really busy but I can try out fightcade when I get a spare hour if I can find the time.

              1. vOddy says:

                I’ll be here until the middle of April.
                There’s no rush. And if you don’t want to play KoF 98, or a weird Swedish creep, then I understand.

                1. Ara says:

                  If you’re here until the middle of April we have plenty of time. My next two weeks are super busy but I’ll let you know when I get fightcade set up on my computer.

          2. vOddy says:

            2002 UM may be a better game than 98. I chose 98 because it’s the only game that I can find opponents with decent ping against (while in Sweden).

        2. LostInTheANUS says:

          Ara likes KoF? Hey Ara do you know how to do pretzel motions?

          1. Ara says:

            I don’t play as Geese in any games, but raging storm isn’t THAT hard unless you’re a pad player.

            1. LostInTheANUS says:

              “I don’t play as Geese in any games”
              Why live?

      2. C. M. says:

        It’s pretty cheesy. Glad you didn’t waste any more time than that. The lazy guitar technique is a problem throughout.

        1. Ara says:

          If it actually had the semblance of the bands it was compared to, it could have been great. I especially love Intestine Baalism, even though it’s pretty clear what they boil down to (I’ve never heard a band ape the tonality of the end of “Fade to Black” so much throughout their whole discography!).

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