Do you want to learn the bitter truth? This record is a headbanging disaster.
So, to all of you fans of the extended moshpit, you need to restrain yourselves. If you try too hard, then your mutual heads just might fall off and roll into a corner. And then what?
Try to grope your way about the music hall to retrieve it. When you only see a portion of the floor. That’s gonna be fun, right?
Well, this is how I felt after a first head-spinning listen of Singularity, the 4th full-length studio album of De Lirium’s Order. And let me tell ya, these guys take the intensity to the next level. The band sounds as if Fleshgod Apocalypse went on a rampage. And found a super-drug in the process that made things worse. Even if the total airplay of their record barely qualifies as an LP.
And indeed, De Lirium’s Order indulge in a slugfest of styles that mainly uses highly complex Technical Death Metal as its foundation. Then throw Progressive, Avant-Garde, and a little Thrash into this same pot.
Specifically, the Progressive Metal part suddenly pops up at unexpected moments. Orion’s Cry – for instance – boasts that funky mix of Ayeron and stuff Haken did in the past. Now, stir all of that goodness well to add to the sophistication at extremist levels, which will put many other bands to shame. Of course, the artful changes between growls and clear vocals do add to the overall allure of Singularity, too.
Yet in truth, sometimes De Lirium’s Order push their game a tad too hard. The review gang almost threw in the towel, after we suffered through Ayatollah that tried to pound us into the dust. With some usual Tech Death madness that we all kinda heard before and don’t need more of.
But – luckily – the RMR deck crew already saw potential in astute delirium, once we started work on their namesake single Singularity, the fractured title track. And this concoction really captures the overall humors of this record, and indeed of the band. A volatile mix of styles and flavors, embedded in fractal splendor.
So, we decided to continue.
And indeed, its successor Surfaced really takes point over all other tracks. This one artfully dispenses the standards by which all other tracks of this album shall be measured. And don’t I just like the Progressive Metal of the jazzy kind in the middle, followed by this funky solo? This is one fucking stellar track.
Speaking of which: Singularity boasts these tasty solos all over the tracklist. You kinda need to catch them once they happen, because they risk drowning in all that aforementioned abject and over-abundant complexity.
All of that is exacerbated by the ever-present and somewhat overwhelming drum work of Ukri Suvilehto (Abbath, Whispered). The drum set has this annoying tendency to take center stage. Don’t get me wrong, the work of the mighty stick wielder is indeed technically outstanding. But outside a proper contest, drums should never overwhelm, nor otherwise get upfront. There have been other outstanding drummers like Yanic Bercier, who did this to their own outfits. Which again did not necessarily benefit the overall quality of the records they supported.
But hey, all that pales by the ingenuity De Lirium’s Order inserted into their mix. Like – for instance – the integration of Astor Piazzolla‘s Libertango into the track of the same name. With a short, but juicy accordion interlude by Viivi-Maria Saarenkylä. It did strike me as pretty wild, but it is nonetheless pretty cool, too. And let’s not forget that Piazzolla’s life and work were pretty controversial as well. At least as seen by the establishment back in time, filled by those nasty classical extremists. You know, those that don’t like change and think that status quo is the way of the world.
So finally, even at a relatively short airplay, Singularity delivers a pretty hot metal hodgepodge. One that will keep you on your toes, and will only spit you out once it is done with you.
That said, the record may no doubt be a bit too technical for some, and it is indeed hellishly difficult to review. But as a piece of Avant-Garde with fractals and Progressive Metal on a bed of Tech Death, the record first needs to find its match in its genre.