Phantasm

Deliria

The album was excellent. A combination of strong musicianship and varied songwriting was what they presented, all done with a dark and chilling touch, that leave the listener wallowing in their own suffering.
February 29, 2024

DELIRIA is an evocative post-black metal band from the San Francisco Bay Area, formed in 2017 by David Scanlon. A fundamental critique of consciousness, the band crafts ordinary life in endogenous melancholia. Quickly joined by vocalist Adam Rupp, the duo sought drummer Jared Klein to record their debut album, “Nausea.” Inspired by existential dread, Rupp's tortured misery and Scanlon's somber melodies coalesce in bleak pessimism and gloomy aurorae. In 2018, the additions of guitarists Brent Rockwell and Jade Forsythe secured a live lineup. The band re-entered the studio in 2020 to record their second full-length album, “Phantasm,” bolstered by Andrew Baird on drums, the band expands its melancholic approach, this time highlighting its morbid and occult arrangements.

The album has eight songs. “Smoke and Mirrors” is first. The opening guitar riff is almost jovial, but it soon turns dark and gloomy, and a thick bed of bass guitar comes up from underneath. From there, it subtly shifts in and out of the light, with dexterous moves, and the dual nature of the harsh vocals keeps it harrowing. “Gemini” is shorter and a bit more straightforward, but the greyness in the dark clouds thicken. The instruments create a very overcast and somber atmosphere and the vocals only add to these feelings. The title track is faster, more frightening, and done with a thicker display of guitars, bass, and drums, and it marches forward like a well trained army of the dead.

“Attic” is slow, and powerful. The guitars build on two fronts…eerie leads, and compelling rhythms, and there are even some chilling keyboard parts. “Reckless” flirts again with jovial tones, but don’t believe them, and they become black with filth. The band keeps shifting the groove, keeping the listener on the edge of their seat. This is the mark of experienced songwriting, and the dual harmonized leads provide some texture and diversity to their sound. “Covenant” moves with a groove, as the guitars light a passage through the dark, and the bass follows with a smooth line. The harsh vocals, however, remind you that the passage is but a mirage. “Spellcraft” is thickened with more keyboards/effects, and hopeless tones swell. It turns dangerous later with aggressive accents in the guitars.

The lengthy “Oblivion” closes the album. Again, at first, the band presents an affable sound, with clean guitars and a bouncy rhythm with the bass, but it is ultimately revealed as a wolf in sheep’s clothing at the half-way mark. The skies turn black, followed by winds and thunderstorms, and there is no absolution within. Overall, the album was excellent. A combination of strong musicianship and varied songwriting was what they presented, all done with a dark and chilling touch, that leave the listener with open wounds and wallowing in their own suffering.

8 / 10

Excellent

Songwritting

8

Musicianship

9

Memorability

8

Production

8
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"Phantasm" Track-listing:

1. Smoke & Mirrors

2. Gemini

3. Phantasm

4. Attic

5. Reckless

6. Covenant

7. Spellcraft

8. Oblivion

 

Deliria Lineup:

Adam Rupp – Vocals

David Scanlon – Guitar

Brent Rockwell – Guitar

Jade Forsythe – Bass

Andrew Baird – Drums

 

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