Eradication - Decadence

Track by track commentary by Mikko Gynther

1. Saturday Night Fever, the opening track, starts with a fanfare-style lick on the bass and fretless guitar played with the EBow. Soon the piece changes to intense speeding in 7/8 which depicts the restlessness of the main character. Olle came up with a pretty sick hip hop drum beat to highlight the absurd feel of the song. The repeated 7/8 part features two bass guitars and only one guitar which is rather unusual.

Saturday Night Fever is the only piece to include genre hopping squeezed in just a few seconds which is prominent on several previous Eradication records. The effect of hopping from soft impressionistic prog to death metal and back in undeniable. The few vocals are sung in the antic country style featured earlier in the intro of the song Sexual Frustration although microtonality blends in Middle Eastern influences.

2. Discoteca del diablo is a hellish piece in disco style. The main guitar riff was written back in early 2008 but the composition wasn't finished until late 2012. Nevertheless the piece is pretty coherent. The guitars and the keyboards share quite a few ideas throughout the track. The main riff and the keyboard line sound somewhat dissonant together although both fit the harmonic background rather smoothly. This controversy creates a latent sinister feel.

3. A Moment with a Working Girl may very well be the most jazz influenced Eradication song ever. It features almost sophisticated playing on two guitars, falsetto singing backed up with an octave below and a fretless guitar solo. You don't go wrong like that, do you. Feel free to argue that you do but it certainly sounds interesting. Once again this piece is in 7/8 making it the most common time signature in the beginning of the album.

4. Ode to Hookers starts as if it was the coda to the previous song but later on develops to a short bossa nova inspired aria. Naturally there's some smooth percussion playing by Olle. Also otherwise there is a diverse instrumentation ranging from electronic piano and organ to fretless guitar played with the EBow. There's also some playful backing vocals to highlight the satire on human tendency to overgeneralize positive experiences.

5. Fantasies Are Fallacies... Reality Is Brutal is an instrumental which reminds of A Friday Night EP. In fact the opening riff was actually written around the same time. Similarities between the piece and the EP include stripped down power-trio instrumentation, musical humor and strong reliance on rhythmic diversity. The arrangement leaves plenty of room for each instrument. Shared solo part accompaniment between the piece and The Consummation is worth noting. Both depict different forms of violent abuse. In this piece the soloing approach combines 70's jazz fusion and heavy metal.

6. Then I Felt Rejected is laid back twisted blues even though there's no typical blues chord progression. The lyrics are pretty bluesy too telling how even the inevitable can go wrong. The singing has been said to sound like a cross between Louis Armstrong, Captain Beefheart and Lemmy. In the end there's a long guitar duet by Jarkko Välimaa and Mikko with a wide range of influences, Beethoven and Slayer to name a few. Still it stays somewhat focused although some have considered it rather adventurous.

7. Darker Day by Day was one of the first pieces written for the album. Like A Rigorous Fantasy on the previous one it defined the mood for the album at least in a compositional viewpoint. Thematically the song is equally crucial and all about transformation and adaptation to the world the main character lives in.

Unsurprisingly Darker Day by Day is a compositional playground. The latter verse is a rather free choral canon of two voices, though with different lyrics. There's quite a bit of variation in the riffs and often distinct guitar and bass parts. A twelve-tone leitmotif that recurs in most remaining tracks is introduced in the end of the song. The motif is inversed as well as diminished. All the variation makes the piece the longest Eradication track in years.

8. The Call is a short eerie track featuring two guitars and the meaningful half of a conversation. Dissonant rhythm guitar arpeggio combined with a harmonically and rhythmically independent lead guitar line create a haunting feel. Despite harmonic complexity but due to simple instrumentation the piece came together very quickly. Being somewhat lighter than it's surrounding songs the main function of track is to develop the story.

9. Whereas Darker Day by Day is a mental turning point in the story there's no turning back after Stairway to Hell. The pieces are also musically connected. A lot of the stuff is based on the leitmotif of Darker Day by Day one way or another although the listener may need to scratch the surface a bit to see that. Stairway to Hell also features a few new ideas that are reused in later tracks. All in all this piece is tightly woven in the other material.

Stairway to Hell consists of three parts. The intro builds up tension. The middle part blends in a great deal of heavy metal. In the end there's a wicked drum solo that is an essential part of the story. The time in storytelling keeps slowing down during the whole composition from fast forward of the beginning to slow motion in the end.

10. In drama sense The Consummation is the most intensive composition on the album as it includes quite a bit of over the top violence. After a rather obscure intro starts the album's most metal moment. Rhythmically the piece is somewhat close to thrash metal although tonally it's more like impressionistic music or jazz if you will. The track is full of lead guitar work by Mikko and Jarkko Välimaa.

11. Sky Is Crying is a melancholic instrumental. The beginning of the track is strictly tonal which creates a nice contrast with the chromatic overdose of the previous track. The intensity builds up with increasing dissonance and shortening note values before calming down again in the end. The music pictures the growing anxiety and hopelessness of a supporting character who is worried about her friend.

12. The first part of Stygian Dawn builds up on the dissonant guitar ostinato introduced in Stairway to Hell. Once again the ostinato forecasts violence and death. The lead guitar line is tonally and rhythmically rather edgy and maybe even disturbing to some people. It contains fragments of musical themes that depict earlier and later events. In addition there are several layers of fretless guitar for short occasions in the middle and in the end. The snare drum pattern is essential for story telling.

The second part was one of the first scenes written for the story and it predates almost everything on the album. Lyrically it was inspired by a Christmas song called Oh Holy Night. The inspiration for the story was very sudden, intense and visual even though the actual outcome is left open on the album. To make the reference more complete also the melody was included, although in a heavily developed form on the background separated to several fretless guitar parts which makes it quite difficult to recognize it.

13. Angel Voices is an instrumental which wraps up the album in a sad mood. In a way it could be seen as the last scene of a movie during which nothing actually happens and intensity is simply faded out. Still there is surprisingly lot of musical substance in the composition. It keeps coming back to the main melody which is developed on every occurrence. In fact the piece is close to a classical period rondo in terms of form and greatly influenced by several periods of Western art music.

The composition begins with the main melody and pedal point accompaniment played on the electric guitar which retains its accompaniment role throughout the track. Most of the parts feature melodic bass guitar lines. There's quite a bit of fretless guitar played with the EBow along with some prominent keyboards in the end. Originally the keyboard line was intended for fretless guitar but it didn't quite work out optimally in such high range.

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