The Oath Of Heathen Blood


Nearly 30 years has done nothing to slow down or dissuade the Black Metal act […]
By Quinten Serna
September 18, 2019
Decayed - The Oath Of Heathen Blood album cover

Nearly 30 years has done nothing to slow down or dissuade the Black Metal act DECAYED as they continue adding to their discography with their newest full length album "The Oath Of Heathen Blood". A continuously creative career is not an easy pursuit wherein the stress and strain of producing quality works wears into even the most chiseled and defined of characters yet as Rollins said, "The only time you define your character is when you go without... If you're never tested, you'll never define your character". Perhaps then you could name it grit or defiance, yet regardless of any label one may assign to them DECAYED has shown themselves resilient, headstrong, and relentless releasing some manner of material nearly every year.

"Rites to Antheia (Intro)" presents itself as a prelude for the album, a cynical, sinister, and invidious atmosphere coupled with deep and darkened chanting as an encomium to Antheia the Greek goddess of flowers, an odd choice for a desecrated ritual but powerful nonetheless. The title track - and longest song on the listing - "Oath Of Heathen Blood" starts immediately with a cacophonous segue before strung chords and spaced beats coupled with shrieking vocals, the verse starts immediately upon the advent of another pick slide. The verse retains the ambience of the introduction despite the open guitars and barrage of drums as they bounce in and out of different grooves whilst never wavering from the beat yet only to pause as the entire band holds itself in tacet unity.  "Unleash Apophis XIII" and "Terminal Dirge" are used as points of intermission to draw attention to those tracks that follow and proceed and whilst I usually believe that short instrumental tracks are only used to fill in spaces these truly sound well constructed and intended in order to build of the soundscape, with "The Cronos Device" feeding much to well into "Terminal Dirge".

The guitars are housed within a dirty and gritty niche that fills out their midtones yet, despite their inclination, remain distinct with every pick and strum being near discrete and easily discernible rather than just a torrent of sound. The drums are tight and proud both defining itself as a foundation and backbone yet also by adding accents and syncopated kicks reeling in the listener between every frenzied passage. The vocals are shrill and cut through the soundscape illuminating the insidious tones behind every song. Yet within the threads of each woven track it becomes difficult to attempt to isolate and discern the bass from a listener's perspective as its tone so closely resembles the guitars' in reference to distortion and build that when the entirety of the band is in full drive and volume the strings meld together; slower tracks and rhythms that are parsed out do well to isolate and define each of the instruments but themselves are a rarity.
DECAYED has shown its true colors yet again through the indulgence of deep and darkened verse and rhythm found within "The Oath Of Heathen Blood" wherein we the listeners are greeted with every wicked sound and syllable to grace the unholy recordings.

8 / 10









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"The Oath Of Heathen Blood" Track-listing:

1. Rites To Antheia (Intro)
2. Oath Of Heathen Blood
3. The Breader Chronicles
4. Torn By Lions
5. Unleash Apophis XIII
6. Grave Desecrators
7. Masque Of Red Death
8. Her Dark Eyes (Eternal)
9. The Cronos Device
10. Terminal Dirge

Decayed Lineup:

Vulturius - Bass, Vocals
GR - Drums
J.A. - Guitars, Vocals

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