DECADENCE - Something to love, something to spend - LP - 7 tracks - HauRuck! - 2003

It is always a true and sincere pleasure to see an album you have been enjoying for months as a rough demo released on a proper label at last. It is the case of the new Decadence album that was supposed to be released on Fluttering Dragon as a 10" plus a 7" a long while ago and that finally have seen the light as a 12" on the Austrian label HauRuck!
No matter the wait, since the new material of this formation from Hellas is just brilliant!

For those who would not be aware of Decadence past activities, I would suggest to have a look at the interview we did in summer 2002 with the leader of this enigmatic formation. This new album titled 'Something to love, something to spend' was recorded between 2000 and early 2002. For this purpose Petros enlisted the talents of a new female singer Eufrosyne who makes all the difference! No doubt her presence brings something extra to the band... Her beautiful voice, that inspires fragility but also assurance radiates throughout the whole album. Whether she sings alone ('A shy soldier') or in duo with Petros (the beautiful opening song 'Dead Boys Choir), she definitely has a charismatic voice that combines perfectly with the pleasant, soft and calm melodies played by Petros on piano or keyboards... All lyrics are sung in English set to a neoclassical accompaniment combined with samples and subtle folk elements.

Indeed, a true harmony emanates from the whole album... that makes difficult to highlight a song amongst them all. Nevertheless, the long track 'Herzliebster Jesu' that opens the b-side deserves to stand out.
Built upon several passages, the music goes from neoclassical (with female vocals) to ambient compositions, and also includes a extract from 'The Passion of Saint Mathew' by J.S. Bach, recorded live during the Hellenic Orthodox Easter that provides a strong and moving feeling to this track. Just beautiful…
The cover of Pet Shop Boys classic, 'Rent' (not that surprising when you know Petros) has to be mentioned as well. The 'justesse' of the interpretation proves that they have completely adapted this song to their style.
The album closes on an excellent neoclassical-folk song 'Silence the Hero' featuring only Petros on vocals.

The last (and not the less important) positive point is that this album was released as a limited edition of 350 copies, on black vinyl. A little extra for the vinyl lovers!

A beautiful and highly recommended album!

Nathalie F.
Spring 2004