Art of Decay: “The Rise”- grinding sludge atmospheres!

The Art of Decay started when drummer David D’Auria and guitarist Eric Quiros met in 2013. After meeting, they discovered they shared an interest in wanting to create something exciting and special in the stagnant pond of the heavy music scene. After screening countless auditions and hopefuls, singer Olga Plekhanova garnered the interest and praise of David and Eric with her impressive musicality and powerful, charismatic voice.

The EP cover
The EP cover

Born in Perm, Russia, Olga moved to Los Angeles to pursue the more lucrative opportunities LA had to offer. The band has added bass player and audio engineer, Nikhil Suresh to the lineup, who was preceded by Cameron Williams.

The Art of Decay shifts between heavenly atmospheres, brutal heaviness and death growls on their 4 track EP, “The Rise”. The band’s creativity and top-notch musicianship are in evidence throughout the recording.

The album is as much spacious as it is vertical, with densely layered arrangements of guitars (sludgy power chords, smart arpeggios, frantic leads) atop unconventional hard-hitting percussion. Perhaps most significantly, the vocals, switches from the soaring melodic forays by Olga Plekhanova to the barked and howled maelstrom supplied by David D’Auria.

The opening track, “Free World”, which is vocally dominated by Olga, is terrific. Here the dynamic range is opened dramatically, with quick alterations between spidery licks, dashing drums, thumping basslines and knotty, pounding riffage.

Even better is “Take Back The Night” which ratchets rapid-fire time changes, while the track creates a grinding-sludge atmosphere where the vocal melodies and growling voices blend and meld into piercing thunderstorms which rise above the mass of sound.

Olga Plekhanova
Olga Plekhanova

Interestingly enough, the epics are actually the most immediately memorable songs, in this case “Green Design”. Armed with brutally intense tech-metal breaks, ginormous, rampaging grooves, and a beefy, inexorable rhythm, this track offers a four-and-a-half minute raving rampage.Pure doom riffing, powerful and booming bass lines, plus energetic and technical drumming makes up the sound of the supposedly lightest track on the EP – “Never Again” which is another barrage of instruments that beats you into the ground!

Art of Decay is to most metal bands, what platinum is to silver. There’s a whole lot of this band that is not immediately obvious in their songs on first listening. Their individual instrumentation is refined, pounded into submission, melted down and reformed, over and over until its form bares little resemblance to the kind of metal most bands are making.

There is a familiar menace in the song themes, but the musicianship and vision are about making their music interesting, unpredictable and extraordinarily unique – thanks also to the opposing vocal styles they blend into their songs.  It’s a relief to find a band like Art of Decay, whose work powerfully transcends the genre they work in. Inspired in its fury and tenacity, “The Rise” is a great listen!


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