Sunday, June 23, 2013

Delusions of Grandeur - Efficacy

Deathcore has grown into a pretty bland genre. I mean, there are always the bands that pop up here and there that bring something new to the table, but all in all, the majority has grown into a huge melting pot. We have the melting pot of bands that are all about the super low tuning and using a lot of simple breakdowns (led by The Acacia Strain and Emmure), and there’s the one of the bands overusing the polyrhythmic breakdowns (influenced by Meshuggah, but led by Veil of Maya and Born of Osiris). Like I mentioned before, there are also those random bands, including Winds of Plague, Iwrestledabearonce, and The Contortionist, that have their own unique interpretation of the genre that either pushes or destroys its boundaries. I was introduced to a band that’s being mentioned in various places as being one of the tightest and skilled group of musicians the genre has seen in a long time. This group of musicians, going under the name of Delusions of Grandeur, is taking what Born of Osiris and Veil of Maya are doing to a COMPLETELY different level.

People that are fans of Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, After the Burial, and other similar bands will have a better grip on what they’ll be getting themselves into. But then again, Delusions of Grandeur have taken blasting technicality, ear-splitting shrieks, melodic leads, soft keyboards, and barbaric brutality into the sound that the above bands helped form. On a side note, if you’re curious as to which of the three above bands these guys are most similar to, it’s definitely Born of Osiris.

So after getting lost in the amazing album cover for about five minutes or so, I decided it was time to see what music was under it. Although the music is beyond amazing, it’s not at all what I was expecting. There are a lot of times where the album art can somewhat describe the music. It’s really cool how descriptive it can be, and bands usually try to have album covers that help paint a partial description of the music behind it. For example, the vocals took me COMPLETELY off-guard. I was expecting something mid-ranged or really low; not these super high-pitched screams. On that same note, the vocals will most likely be unpleasant for the ears due to their slightly edgy sound, but given some time and a couple of run-throughs, chances are that you’ll come to enjoy the vocals on this as much as I do. But in all honesty, the vocals aren’t anywhere near being the most amazing part of this small record.

A band of this particular style requires a VERY good drummer. Fortunately, most bands that choose to play this type of metal make sure to at least have a drummer that can keep up without fucking up too much. Calling the drummer on this album amazing would be an understatement. Try as I might, I am still unable to find any parts where he fucks up or falls out of rhythm. He’s lightning-fast, catchy, unique, and is good at not going overboard with the technicality. He knows that he is the key element that keeps the music driving at a steady pace. The instant the really weird melodic intro to Quantum ended, I was blown away by how much focus and skill this guy has; most other drummers would’ve screwed up at least once during a song like this, but not this one. And as if the tightness of the drums wasn’t already mind-blowing enough, the rest of the band is literally just as tight.

The walking guitar solos that some deathcore bands like to do during breakdowns are delicate because they’re so damn easy to ruin. If one wrong note is played or if one little thing falls out of time, it gets easily noticed. One of my personal favorite examples of this type of breakdown is the last part of Follow the Signs by Born of Osiris. Just the way everything is laid out and how the kick drums match up exactly with the guitar is mesmerizing. But that breakdown is fairly well-paced; imagine taking that and increasing the complexity of everything. That would give you the breakdown that lies roughly in the middle of the first song, Noname. I’m not too much of a guitar player, but I’ve played enough to know how hard it is to do what is done in that breakdown while keeping PERFECT time. On top of that, the other members are just as tight with the drums as the guitars. During the last 30 seconds of Noname, the band lays out just the right amount of proof how perfect their timing is and how seamlessly they can do just about anything.

Having a similar atmospheric and technical deathcore style to Born of Osiris, Delusions of Grandeur are going to be one of the next bands to take the wheel in the future. This isn’t the type of band that I would consider to be one of the more brutal deathcore bands (i.e. Whitechapel, Oceano, As You Drown, etc.). If you’re into the much more complex and atmospheric type of deathcore (i.e. Veil of Maya, Born of Osiris, etc.), then Delusions of Grandeur is a band that is required to be in your collection. The deathcore genre’s reputation is suffering greatly, and Delusions of Grandeur are one of the bands that defy that reputation and could possibly be one of the bands that, in the future, could possibly save it. Even if you don’t like deathcore, give this a listen because I’m giving it 18/20.