Do you know the feeling of an adrenaline rush that takes over when the mighty force of metal runs through your veins? It’s one that can only be topped by sharing it with others who are going through the exact same experience. There’s something about metal music that is simultaneously liberating and unifying; you go from being in a sublime state of singleness to one of oneness, where you’re connected to thousands of strangers through invisible threads of electricity.
Metal draws on sources we don’t see in many other music genres; its lyrics are often based on the darker side of things humanity turns its back on, and it certainly doesn’t seek to be a fashionable crowd pleaser. Not to mention that the faces and often-tattooed bodies behind these supposedly “angry” bands are some of the kindest, deepest people you’ll ever meet.
So now that the Eurovision hype has started to wear off, it’s time to direct Malta’s pride onto the underground scene and shine the spotlight on Decline the Fall
The local band has been invited to perform at the Hills of Rock festival in Bulgaria on the 30th of June. I sat down with the five members – a hilarious and talented yet humble bunch with distinct personalities – in their rehearsal garage to get the lowdown.
Decline the Fall, a metalcore band whose sound can be defined as heavy, melodic and groovy, owes its style to the amalgamation of various musical influences of its five members.
“We started off with a style that was similar to Breaking Benjamin, but when Matt joined as the lead guitarist, we changed style and direction significantly. He injected a heavier and more melodic sound,” said John, the vocalist, lyricist and lone survivor of the original band.
Having played live locally around 20 times with the current line-up, three times abroad (once in Romania and twice in Italy’s Sbamfest) and even opened for Italian gothic metal band Lacuna Coil at Aria Complex in 2017, the band has gained popularity in the Maltese metal scene.
Decline the Fall has also released a music video for ‘Composing Madness’, a track that to my ears, has something darkly euphoric and strangely ethereal about it.
Run to the hills… Hills of Rock, that is
Iron Maiden would have us running to the hills, and we definitely wouldn’t mind if it meant going to this event.
Hills of Rock – a music festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria – has witnessed some of the world’s greatest rockstars on its three stages. This year’s edition will be held from the 28th -30th of June, during which internationally-renowned bands like Disturbed and Garbage will be headlining. Decline the Fall will be playing a 45-minute set on the last day of the festival at 8pm… not too shabby!
“Although we’re really looking forward to watching and playing alongside bands we grew up listening to, it’s the calibre of the festival that’s the most exciting,” guitarist, voice of reason and ‘band-dad’ Kris smiles. Just to put things into perspective, last year, the same festival hosted 55,000 attendees from around the globe.
“It’s our first time being involved in something this big, so it’s natural to be a little nervous,” bassist and self-professed lame joke generator Fabio says.
“But it will be cool to have a backstage pass and be on the other side of things,” drummer and vegan (yes, he wanted to make it clear) Ehren interjected. “Hopefully I won’t break the snare drum this time, like I did during our first ever live gig!”
“It would be awesome to see a few Maltese faces, I’d really appreciate that,” Ehren continues. So give London’s Primark shopping centre a break from the Maltese this summer, fly somewhere different and support local music!)
“Yeah, any Maltese person I see with a Maltese flag gets a drink on me!” lead guitarist Matthew aka Bombom adds. We’ll hold him to that.
Not all heroes wear capes… (but feel free to do so, I guess)
“We hope to release the new album – about the end of the world – this year,” vocalist John says. “We are proud of the fact that we got to this point without even releasing an album, it’s pretty amazing.”
The band members are looking forward to whatever is in store for them and are working their asses off to go on tour next year. However, in a scene where there is little to no help from the government, band members often fork out money from their own pockets to fund their flights and accommodation to gain exposure by performing abroad.
Decline the Fall is looking for sponsors; whether printing and merchandise, financial help for recording, or a GoPro to capture the surge of electricity live from stage.