"Decline of the West" represents a vital intersection of style and method in Emil Amos' songwriting and production. It combines his genre-hopping tendencies and no-rules mixing methods with the more hook-driven, straight-to-the-jugular phrasing that he has been honing for the last 15 years. This makes "Decline.." his most stylistically varied effort to date while balancing a perfect mix of his more challenging sentiments with bigger hooks.
"Decline of the West" is named after and conceptually began with Oswald Spengler's pessimistic assessment that the Western culture is revealing the classic signs of a societies' decay and end. The record was recorded at Amos' home studio in late-night recording sessions that stretched over 3 years where he played every instrument and then mixed and re-mixed each track.
Influenced by the avant German bands of the 70's he used nature recordings, radio transmissions and old Halloween tapes as source material to create slabs of musique concrete-style texture to surround and inhabit the songs. The basic message is an apocalyptic one, with the songs investigating the tensions between 'human nature', capitalistic culture, conformism, the inner self and the inevitable destiny of a society that has values such as ours.
The production takes Holy Sons' minimalist avant-folk sound and journeys through formats as varied as dub, church-hymn, slow-jam, tape-collage and obtuse banjo-sitar runs all performed with an inspired punk spirit.
"Imagine A Silver Mt. Zion doing a coffeehouse open mic night where somewhere in the background a radio is tuned to ominous newscasts of global unrest..."(SCTAS)