By now, anyone who knows me has noticed I’ve got a bit of an obsession with blues-rock collective Decadent. This band is just … everything. Their music, lyricism. That voice. THAT VOICE!!! Really, they blindsided me a couple years ago with their debut, and ever since they’ve only gotten better in skill and vision. Hence we come to the lead single from their self-titled LP, “Disease.”
Where to begin? “Disease” is a story of wading through humanity while navigating your way through extreme loneliness. With all the pain in the world, all the stories of people taking their lives and dealing with just an abundant amount of hurt, “Disease” is incredibly relevant. Penned by lead vocalist Dennis Jin, the track might have been his way to purge some sort of demon. Or it could’ve been a means to outwardly and physically express something as abstract as pain. Using the conceit of an actual disease to describe the deterioration of both mind and body of someone suffering in silence is incredibly poignant. From a purely nostalgic point of view, it’s incredibly rare in this day and age to see videos in full claymation. Also apt. With the master of the animation style passing in October of this year (which I just found out, so there’s that), there’s an even greater emotional weight.
The visuals aside, the musical execution is enough to make you weep. Of course, Dennis’s voice is a work of pure magic. His range is just appalling (and I mean that in the same way one might say they hate someone they actually love more than anything in the world). He slides so easily in and out of his full-voiced falsetto and his full-bodied tenor. At this point it just seems like he’s showing off. (A live clip of him singing this song in a throaty baritone will make you want to punch a wall!)
Beyond Dennis’s instrument, you have the incomparable precision of the band itself. Lead guitarist Pahk Chang makes his guitar whine and ache like a lover scorned. He puts so much character and life into his instrument. Each member of this band, from Seol‘s hearty bass work to Christian‘s steady heartbeat of a drum, works in tandem. Decadent is truly the epitome of every brilliant thing in a band. They work so perfectly in concert with each other. It’s in the narrative arc of the sound itself, the way in which they build and learn from one another that allows their music to have such an emotional core.
Thus “Disease.” Both in audio and visual hue, the song does so much to tell a powerful story. This was without a doubt in the upper echelon of my favorite videos of 2018.