Review Summary: Decree aren’t here to coddle or comfort. They’re here to bludgeon you with the kind of raw, pounding anger that used to flow through the veins of almost every industrial band.
Anyone that keeps up on the industrial genre is most likely familiar with the name Chris Peterson. He is probably best known for stepping in to fill the void left in Front Line Assembly
every time Rhys Fulber leaves to concentrate on some other project. The misleading thing about that knowledge is that people may see Chris’ name attached to Decree and assume that this is probably another accessible, semi-danceable electro-industrial band full of hooks, melody and smooth beats – nothing could be further from the truth. It only takes a few moments of opening track, “Finite Years”, to realize that Decree has nothing in common with the relatively accessible industrial of Front Line Assembly (and Delerium doesn’t even exist on the same plane as these guys). If there is a working comparison to Fateless
’ sound it is the crushing dissonance of early Godflesh.
It doesn’t take long to realize that Decree exists to fulfill a need that Chris Peterson’s other projects simply don’t cover; the need to express anger and otherwise force discomfort onto others. There literally isn’t a single moment on this album that could be considered serene or comforting or even accessible. The songs on this album (i.e. the majority) are all built on pounding rhythms that maintain rigid, almost militaristic, tempos. Over this mechanical cadence are various layers of dissonance that flow throughout the songs at different pitches and intervals, and make up the majority of each track’s ‘music’. The only truly recognizable part of this dissonance is the guitar riffs of Ross Redhead that cut through the noise while still adding to the overall discord for the most part. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that Sean Lawson's vocals are just as uncompromising and harsh as every other part of this album. Sean's strained, throat-shredding shouts come off like a drill instructor possessed, often times locking into the unyielding percussion in order to most effectively express his displeasure with… well, with everything it seems.
People that have only heard of Chris Peterson through his work with the lush electro-new age of Delerium will take one listen to Fateless
and promptly shit their pants. Such is the level of twisted, uninhibited anger exhibited throughout this album. The funny thing is that even Front Line Assembly fans might have issues digesting this album. Decree aren’t about sing-along songs and groovy beats, they’re about shouting at whoever is closest about whatever is nearby. They’re about taking layers of discordant noise, gritty guitars and pummeling beats and calling the end result music. Whether from the purge of negative emotions or from the first peaceful moments after the extended agonizing onslaught, by the time Fateless
comes to a close it should have listeners feeling some sort of release from its exercise in anger.