A better than ever re-release
Former Melvin’s bassist Mark Deutrom, who was part of the band from 1993-1998, has continued his pattern of re-releasing his solo albums in a newly re-mastered version of 2011’s The Value of Decay. The re-release is a great tribute to his work as a solo artist, and each song sounds just as fresh as they did seven years ago. Deutrom hasn’t released an album of new material since 2013 and is expected to do so in the near future. For now, however, fans of Deutrom and new listeners are treated to a great album that features fantastic hard rock vocals, and of course Deutrom’s amazing talent on bass.
The Value of Decay is made up of a pattern of shorter songs and much longer ones. The first two songs on the album, “From the Deepest Well” and “Darksider” feature no vocals. Deutrom’s impressive vocals coming in on the third track “Dim Candle.” “Dim Candle” is a legendary song in itself, with the great instrumentals, and Deutrom’s high pitched but melodic voice. His vocals can be compared to those of the late ’80s and early ’90s rock stars, which makes sense since he was entering the scene at that point. “Dim Candle” is both catchy and a little creepy, making it a great way to start off the album and to draw listeners in. Another early song of note is “Love Story Pt2,” which is a very short song coming in at 1:17. However, the drumbeat throughout makes it recognizable, and the short, repeated vocals “I place my hand upon your leg/ I touch my fingers to your lips” give the listeners a lovesick sort of feeling.
The Value of Decay is a very long album, so it’s hard to do every song on it justice. However, some other notable songs are “Buried in the Jewel,” “Cities of Gold” and “Perish the Thought.” “Buried in the Jewel’s” vocals are distorted, making the song have a little bit of a psychedelic quality to it. It also sounds rather haunting, as the bass and other instruments are much louder than the vocals. “Cities of Gold” is the second longest song on the album, and it’s similar to “Buried in the Jewel” thanks to the echoing and distorted vocals. The guitar in the song practically moans, and Deutrom’s vocals sound faded behind it, creating a great sound that makes this song stand out. Though “Buried in the Jewel” is a great song, “Cities of Gold” accomplishes what “Buried in the Jewel” is trying to do more efficiently. Finally, though “Perish the Thought” is a shorter song, it needs to be of note thanks to the fantastic bass at the beginning. Though Deutrom’s bass skills are always amazing, they are highlighted best in this song.
The final song on the album is “Empire Sands,” a long song coming in at 8:58. The song mixes multiple musical styles, using Deutrom’s rock bass, his psychedelic vocals, and a bluesy sort of feeling in the mix of instruments in the background. Since the album starts with a short song, it only makes sense for it to end with a long one, and “Empire Sands” is just as much of a classic now as it was seven years ago. Though it’s unknown when Mark Deutrom’s next solo album will be released, The Value of Decay is a fantastic re-issue, and will surely create fans out of first-time listeners.