MEDEA is a band from Belarus and “Dekadans” is their second full length album. Dark Metal is perhaps the best way to describe their style and they blend Black Metal with a lot of epic symphonic keyboards that slide into the oppressive, and Gothic undertones with some samples to colour in the background here and there.
If you want to hear what this album is about, "V Noch Na Rozhdestvo" would be a good place to start as it has a lot of the Gothic melody that is regularly found through the album, but in essence feels like pure Black Metal. The keys carry a note of sorrow into the album and there is a balance of Black malice and softer and more melodic Gothic undertones and interludes - a good balance of black and red. One interlude in particular includes someone running and crossing a stream, possibly being chased by villains on horseback – unfortunately I have no idea what this album is about as I speak neither Russian nor Belarussian. The band certainly tried to cloak the album in a lot of atmosphere and overall succeeded in doing so, but the black and red does not always flow together quite as you'd hope and at times it feels like you're actually listening to two different musical “tracks” or interpretations.
I unsure how to rate “Dekadans” as there are some real great moments on here, but unfortunately, there are as many not-so-great moments where the album becomes lost within itself and you can't really make sense of what you're supposed to be feeling or thinking. Of course, not understanding the lyrics does not help, but in my experience you don't always need to know the words to understand what they mean. The above mentioned track really is a stand-out and it is indeed very disappointing that the other tracks couldn't live up to this standard. A few come close and it's not a bad album per se, but it could have been better if only MEDEA had managed to produce a few more like it. It is mystical, magical and majestic – everything the album should have been, but unfortunately, isn't.
(Online September 13, 2009)