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(50:57, ‘Verbal Delirium’)
TRACK LIST: 1. 10.000 Roses 5:20 2. Desire 5:21 3. Erebus 0:49 4. Dance of the Dead 2:52 5. The Losing Game 8:54 6. Disintegration 4:57 7. Dance of the Dead Reprise 0:38 8. Sudden Winter 8:23 9. Aeons 12:44 LINEUP: Jargon – vocals; analog keyboards Nikitas Kissonas – guitars, mandolin Enthralling Kernel G – drums La Trappe – bass With: Leonidas Petropoulos – bass Labros Matopoulos – trumpet Anastasis Hamilakis – keyboards Nikos Nikolopoulos – flute, saxophone
Prolusion. The Greek band VERBAL DELIRIUM can trace its history back to 1999, then formed by main composer and keyboardist Jargon. Eight years would go by before the band's line-up stabilized however, and it wasn't until 2010 that Verbal Delirium released their debut album. Come 2013 and a slightly revamped version of the band returns with their second album "From the Small Hours of Weakness".
Analysis. Once again I'm writing a review where I don't know how to get an angle going, and once again I'm faced with the task of describing music that ideally merits multiple, thorough inspections before even attempting to describe everything that's going on. And once again I'm positively surprised about the level of musicianship that I have explored. Quite a few new bands sets me in this position. They don't have all that much of a history going, and they pull in unusual elements in their music that makes them if not innovative then at least representatives of artists exploring territories that are less than frequently explored by others, which makes it much harder to toss out associations and comparisons. We're presented with an initial opening track that kicks off with hypnotic hih-hop inspired beats and layered keyboards with a repeated phrase whispered beneath, then exploding into a frenzied classical progressive rock excursion sporting a majestic organ and guitar construction, hitting a more sparse bass and piano driven theme next and then ending with a frail piano motif, all within five minutes or so. The following piece Desire, opens as a piano oriented ballad, shifting to a tight alternative rock inspired expression sporting staccato guitars and symphonic oriented keyboards and a fairly dramatic overall expression – a stark contrast in style but fairly similar in approach. Next up Erebus, a nifty experimental saxophone creation that wouldn't have been out of place on an avant-garde jazz album, the elements of jazz continued on in the dramatic piano and saxophone construction Dance of the Dead. a composition that also sports a nice, suitably dramatic symphonic progressive rock oriented insert. Less than 15 minutes into this CD, and many will be dazzled and confused by the stylistic elements utilized already I guess. That this is all well made too is perhaps moot to mention. Touches of jazz and symphonic progressive rock blend very well in The Losing Game, one of the pieces here with arguably most of a classical progressive rock sound, while the shorter and somewhat more frantic Disintegration is a well made attempt at blending the indie-oriented sounds of Muse with, yet again, symphonic progressive rock. A brief revisit to the ominous jazz-oriented moods of Dance of the Dead sets the mood for the elegant almost epic length Sudden Winter. This one is a ballad oriented affair liberally flavored with symphonic textures as it gently unfolds, and as with many other tracks at hand, we're also served some nice folk-oriented instrument details of a distinct Greek origin here, on this composition arguably more than elsewhere. At last we have the concluding epic Aeons. From a gentle ballad-oriented opening through a plethora of minor and major shifts in style and expression that includes both indie-rock oriented and space rock oriented details the track settles in an enticing, bass guitar driven theme, then taking a major left turn to chaotic, keyboards oriented escapades of a more avant-oriented nature and then ebbing out with fluctuating cosmic textures. A lot of ground covered in a mere 50 minutes playtime in other words. Apart from a certain dark and bleak mood and the aforementioned Greek folk music details that appear here and there this is a production without a fixed stylistic base as such, apart from the fact that this is progressive rock. A variety of it that most likely merits a description as eclectic.
Conclusion. If you enjoy bands that incorporate moods, details and style elements from somewhat unusual sources into a progressive rock context, are generally fond of bands that strive for rather unexpected compositional developments and otherwise make an effort to come across as innovative, Verbal Delirium is a band you might want to investigate. As far as a possible key audience is concerned, I'd hazard a guess that those who have albums by Van Der Graaf Generator and Muse side by side in their collections might be a possible fit.
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