Reka Decadence

Reka - Decadence


A twenty-minute masterpiece of Post-Metal with stunning ambiance from probably one of the most overlooked bands on the scene although, arguably one of the most excellent and interesting .

Quite a statement, eh? It is, but it has baffled me for years why this band is not more talked about, reviewed, and generally mentioned when discussing bands in this genre. The band is not even listed in the Metal Archives. I have often wondered if my taste fails me or if I am out of touch regarding this band. But when I bring the band to the attention of fellow metalheads, they are surprised and agree with me that Reka´s music is worth spending time with.

A reason for the obscurity might be that they have released most of their music as self-releases with the first album in 2010 without distribution and only, I think, digital three years after their inception in Moscow. They then dropped two more albums in the next couple of years, a couple of splits over the next years, an EP in 2014, and caused a few ripples within the scene with Jupiter in 2019 when it was released by Moment Of Collapse Records. Throughout the years the band has become more of an international collective than a band based in a certain country.

On their first albums, one could sense the Screamo influences in their sound, but also some Post-Rock influences and of course, heavy and dense Sludge. They gradually developed into Post-Metal, more notably on this new release. As a collective, they are no stranger to exciting collaborations with other artists as this album shows.

The dark elusive opening sounds of the track merge with distorted repetitive guitar riffs before cymbals indicate the dive into atmospheric Sludge sonics with heavy melodic riffing with one guitar playing a slightly higher pitched line. Hoarse growls appear and are immersed in the wide sludgy riffs. There are subtle shifts into heavier sonics as the drums give energy with double takes, hits on the snare, and cymbals underlined by the bass´ grooves. The music pans out with guitars sliding to each side of the throbbing artery of the music that at first is filled by a calm cello which is overlaid by beautiful lucid and ethereal vocals performed by Yukiko Watanabe from the Japanese band Presence of Soul. She is joined here by her bandmate Ryo Amamiya. Watanabe´s lucid vocals re-appear throughout the monumental track immersed in the heavy music or hovering above it, singing with the growls. There are also some elusive, indistinct soft spoken words all along the track and I gather Amamiya is performing those. Nevertheless, both bring a soaring, translucent beauty whether sung or spoken.

Sorry, but I must digress a bit before going on. Through this release from Reka I discovered the aforementioned band, Presence of Soul led by the multi-instrumentalist Yukiko Watanabe. I highly suggest that after listening to Decadence you head over to Bandcamp and check out the band´s exquisite mix of Darkwave, Post-Metal, Drone and more.

Well, back to Decadence. When the lucid vocals appear, accompanied by the brooding cello, the other instruments shift into translucent sonics. Still, the drums and bass keep the compact end of the soundscape intact, and by doing so, create some tension in the flow of the music. And rightly so, as the lucid vocals become stronger and rise with the incoming surge of dense riffs and growling vocals forming a crescendo where both voices alternate between leading the crescendo and singing simultaneously accompanied by layered music. The music becomes heavier with some low-end cello and doomy repetitive riffs, and drumming. The guitars repeat floating above the cello with an indistinct voice talking slightly more urgently before it surges into heavy Sludge again with the lucid vocals floating along with the desperate growls. The music sweeps forward with bass and cello at its core.

The flow of this multi-layered music is so well crafted that it pulls you into its sonics, even if it is a lone strumming guitar or some heavy repetitive sludgy riffage that goes straight to your chest and into your headbanging limbic system. The wonderful vocals float in and out of the sonics. There is a surge of heavy Sludge connecting the growls with sludgy riffs driving it forward, ending in a desperate roar.

The music eventually simmers to a meditative movement that provides the final moments of this track. A strumming guitar is prominent in the sonics while a flute is heard amongst yearning glimmering synth sounds seeming to rise from the cello´s brooding darkness. The final minutes are really intricate and coherent with melodic acoustic guitars and cello and the drums silently working in the background using the whole set. The cello is undulating, adding some dissonance to the peaceful contemplation as it fades away with the other sounds. An acoustic solo ends the masterpiece.

The band´s humble elusiveness makes it quite intriguing and according to their statement on Bandcamp, it is how it should be. “We are not writers, poets, actors or artists…Actually we just want to be honest and ordinary persons who met so many different and gorgeous peoples [sic] and places. That we feel we need to share with all of it by our souls where this deep music was born.”

I - we - thank them for the music and hope for more to come in the next years.