|24th of November, 2023
|Church Road Records
Everybody loves a good story. That doesn’t need to be a happy one, but it has to be a compelling one. Happy go lucky makes you feel good, but it is the tragedy that moves you. If the tragedy is based upon a real story it hits you even more in the guts.
I wanted to explore the long term effects of Thatcherite neoliberalism and the slow-burning disaster they’ve caused for people here. Each generation has to make do with less, and turns to more extreme vices to cope as the loss of purpose and community sets in.Abi (singer Underdark)
Welcome Managed Decline. Setting the stage right with the somber “The Past We Inherit, The Future We Build (28th February 1972)” and leads right into “Managed Decline I (1st April 1988)” where the downward spiral begins. Just like a small avalanche taking speed suddenly, the songs shifts from slow Rock to full-on Black Metal to pitch black bleakness in a second.
Just like their label-mates Copse, Underdark intertwine beautiful melodies into their Black Metal wrath. “Enterprise (1st November 2004)” has this wonderful melodic outro while “Employment (16th June 1993)” as a whole bathes itself in obsidian beauty. Sometimes it is hard to decide whether your eyes are open wide because of the frenzy going on or just close your eyes to paint pictures according to the delicate music hitting your ears.
Managed Decline feels like the Post-Black Metal successor of Witness by Modern Life Is War. This kind of topic is something you don’t hear every day on releases in this genre, but it is executed in great fashion here. You’ll be hard pressed to find another extreme Metal release this year as melodic as Managed Decline.