Released: 2009, Strange Ears
Reviewer: Theis Rytoft
Our Kingdom of Decay definitely presents some interesting themes as they take a standing point in the history of Denmark. Actually the word “decay” in the album title is pronounced just as “DK” which is the Danish ISO code. Well done as a symbolic reference. Elaborated, the album centers on events in the history of Denmark which have tragic and shadowy elements such as the white cut, the biggest mass murderer in Denmark and the crazy King Christian VII.
“Ghost Song” starts off with a slow part consisting of bass, guitar and drums which last a minute. Very atmospheric and a very nice way to put the listener into a suitable mood. The brutal vocals kick in, the music speeds up and Compos Mentis is doing their shit! Good shit! The rest of the song mixes between the more speedy part and the slow which also demonstrates good instrumental handling.
“Arusia” differs from track 01 as it presents its vocals more in the center of the track whereas the former track had different output and is more straightforward in this one. The tempo is faster and in context with the album the track is well placed. Apart from that I find the track non-interesting.
Track 03 “The 44th king” gives some chills with an astonishing combination especially between vocals and guitar play. Considering that, this track does not excite me apart from those several short moments.
“In the Garden of the Dead” has an extremely satisfying melody supported by the strong vocals. Unfortunately the last minute is boring which ruins the melodic death metal track being worthy of some high praise.
One thing I really notice on this album is “Lady’s Bower” featuring a very catchy melody which should be able to get some windmills of hair going! After this track, being the milestone on “Our Kingdom of Dania”, the quality of the album decreases rapidly with one exception: “Kingdom of Dania” ends the album finely as a diverse song and with a memorable chorus “Oh, the Kingdom of Dania, let’s talk of hearts in decay.” There is some interesting experimentation with musical and vocal elements in between “Lady’s Bower” and “Kingdom of Dania” but I do not find it a memorable outcome at all!
The album possesses really atmospheric elements such as bells ringing at the start of the “The 44th King” and the keyboards are well placed and have been used in nice conjunction with the rest of the musical composition to produce a dark aura on the album. This dark aura is generally very identical throughout the whole album which puts some limitations on differentiating the songs from each other though. Lyric-wise, the band has implemented words which really “tell” events and while doing so, manage to make them diverse and compelling.
Compos Mentis has managed to pull off an interesting album which deals with a fascinating theme, good lyrics and a nice musical composition. The vocals are strong as well and Heinsvig has a wide range. On the other hand the album fails at distinguishing many of the tracks musically and making them unique in sound.