One year after spiriting off to China, Alpine Decline return with their fourth album, “Night of the Long Knives”. Descending from the high altitude visions of their previous records, the duo walks us gassed out and head numb through chaos and time sickness, deep into the ruins of ancient alleyways and naked skyscrapers. This time under the expansive sonics of producer (and China punk godfather) Yang Haisong, “Night of the Long Knives” is Alpine Decline surfacing from the Beijing haze maze at the height of their powers, crafting songs with the ghost-memory quality of myths and guiding us deep into the cinematic and stereoscopic landscape of their world, real and apocryphal.
Somehow sounding both clearer and denser than their previous albums, “Night of the Long Knives” opens with “Day 213”, a broken transmission from the site of the band’s crash landing. Stepping away from the rubble, we again walk with the duo through a landscape that is equal parts fascination and horror (although never cynical, never sneering). This fourth album presents some of the bands most accessible, nearly pop moments, masterfully folded into experimentation and sonic exploration. From the deep hooks of “Drunk on Crystal Fire” to the zombie lurch of “Industrial/Domestic”, “Night of the Long Knives” is an album that proves, once again, Alpine Decline are making some of the most creative, exciting albums anywhere on the planet.