Deliluh - Fault Lines Music Album Reviews

Deliluh - Fault Lines Music Album Reviews
Known for its restless ambition and DIY spirit, the post-punk group evolves with unnerving ambience, spoken-word recitations, and industrial noise.

Prior to the pandemic, Deliluh were a post-punky quartet based in downtown Toronto; today, they exist as a transient avant-ambient duo flashing their Eurail passes between Berlin and Marseille. That dramatic shift aligns them with a grand tradition of iconoclastic North American artists—from Iggy Pop to Liars to the Brian Jonestown Massacre—who’ve headed to the old continent to chase new musical horizons, but in Deliluh’s case, they’re breaking free of both their established sound and their essential identity. Through the late 2010s, Deliluh were more than just familiar faces in Toronto’s DIY underground; they were, in many ways, its ideological center, constantly seeking performance spaces that lay outside the traditional bar circuit. They were the kind of band that hosted shows in their living room, transformed a local veterans hall into a freak-scene clubhouse, and even got the city’s permission to stage an event in the famously abandoned Lower Bay subway station. In Colin Medley and Maria Todorov-Topouzov’s short documentary on the group, guitarist/synth player Julius Pedersen summed up Deliluh’s thrill-seeking philosophy like so: “It became this [game of] like, ‘how can we beat the last one?’”

Sometime in 2019, however, that question became less about unlocking hidden spaces in their community and more about harnessing the band’s own surging ambitions. On their first two records, 2017’s Day Catcher and 2019’s Beneath the Floors, Deliluh staked out the sweet spot between post-punk grime and post-rock grace, and they continued to stretch the aesthetic parameters of the four-piece rock band on “Amulet,” a stalking seven-minute epic that they first recorded in 2019 in Pedersen’s native Copenhagen on the eve of a European tour. “Amulet” reappears as the centerpiece of Deliluh’s third album, Fault Lines. But since its initial conception, bassist Erik Jude and drummer/violinist Erika Wharton-Shukster stepped away from the group and returned to Toronto while Pedersen and lead vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Kyle Knapp laid down roots in Europe, where they could take advantage of a more concentrated touring network. As such, the “Amulet” we hear on Fault Lines reflects both the downsized lineup and the extra tinkering-time afforded by subsequent pandemic lockdowns. The two versions share the same sinister synth pulse and Knapp’s spoken-word narrative about an unrepentant jewel thief preying on the wealthy. But what once resembled the string-spiked, jump-scare soundtrack to a creepy cat-and-mouse thriller is now more conducive to an apocalyptic sci-fi horror flick, as the duo layer techno hi-hats and eerie frost-covered drones into a cyclonic swirl that’s equally glorious and grotesque.

Both recordings of “Amulet” were released together last year as a single to commemorate the previous incarnation of Deliluh and introduce the new one. On Fault Lines, that skin-shedding process kicks into high gear. But while tracks like “Credence (Ash in the Winds of Reason)” and “Syndicate II” fit snugly into the band’s previous guitar-driven repertoire (not to mention this current era of peak post-punk), Deliluh are the rare band that can summon the menacing propulsion and imagistic density of the Fall without resorting to Mark E. Smith pantomime-uh. In lieu of hectored invectives, Knapp uses his unnervingly calm voice to worm his way into the tormented psyches of his protagonists, like when he catalogs the abuses of the church on “Credence” through the eyes of a possibly complicit priest nervously awaiting judgment day.

But where “Credence” and “Syndicate II” yield the kinds of incremental sonic evolutions (spine-tingling piano embellishments on the former, a theatrical gang-vocal breakdown on the latter) that would’ve counted as major breakthroughs in the band’s pre-2020 iteration, on Fault Lines, these songs function more as last-gasp purges that free up Deliluh to abandon rock music altogether. The album begins with “Memorial,” a serene yet restless ambient piece over which Knapp delivers a solemn funeral prayer (“When the light of the land has perished/Deliver me out to sea”) that could also double as last rites for the band Deliluh once were. It’s immediately answered by the calamitous “Body and Soul,” where Knapp and Pedersen showcase their new methods of bringing the noise, through a beatless industrial hellscape of incessant alarm-bell clamor, anvil-crushing chords, and squealing saxophone that sounds like a wounded animal begging to be put out of its misery.

By the time we reach the closing “Mirror of Hope,” Deliluh have become an apparition of their former selves. Reciting a poem about a train conductor lost in her own thoughts, possibly at the precise moment of an impending crash, Knapp intones: “She is not gliding toward her destination/This is her destiny, this is her chariot, this is her kingdom.” And for the next six minutes, Deliluh lay claim to a promised land of their own through an exquisite free-floating synthphony streaked with windswept woodwinds and tear-jerking strings. Back when they were still holding shows in their living room, Knapp and Pedersen christened their ad-hoc venue Somewhere Else, to denote a safe space liberated from the business demands, programming limitations, and hot-headed bouncers of a typical bar operation. Several years and 4,000 miles removed from those DIY halcyon days, that name still functions as a mission statement—geographically, musically, and spiritually.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Deliluh - Fault Lines Music Album Reviews Deliluh - Fault Lines Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on June 20, 2022 Rating: 5


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