Artist: Dealey Plaza
Album: Deliver Us
You don’t even have to step outside to realize the world has descended into chaos. Turn on the news and our eyes are flooded with images of bigotry and brutal violence against our fellow man. Hate, abuse and moral bankruptcy run rampant—and the more we look to the sky and beg for intervention, the worse things get. We spend days, weeks and even months with hands stretched skyward pleading for salvation and finding disappointment in the lack of an answer instead of being proactive and taking matters into our own hands. Finally, however, mankind has an answer to countless prayers and pleas—but it isn’t the intervention we expected. It is abrasive, aggressive and chaotic. It is entropy, organized and amplified. It is the sophomore full-length release from Floridan deathcore act, Dealey Plaza. Deliver Us does not save us from our collective atrocities–rather, it delivers a fitting recompense, dooming the listener with dissonance and disastrous heaviness that is as addictive as heroin and as lethal to boot.
The first wave of Dealey Plaza’s aural onslaught is defined by a creative melding of musical styles ranging from doom and sludge metal to punchy, bloody-fisted beatdown. Deliver Us is a comprehensive display of instrumental mastery, not simply where talent is concerned, but in its songwriting as well. Fans of Dealey Plaza’s earlier material—especially their debut full length—take solace; there are boatloads of bone-splintering blast beats and hyperspeed drum patterns to be had. Whether it’s the galloping, quick footwork on “Two Wolves,” the shearing, skin-ripping blasts sprinkled throughout “Lead Poisoning,” or the flashy fills in “Notable Entity,” Dealey Plaza deliver a flair for furious speed established on their earlier releases, and mirrored in the trio’s terrifying fretwork. Bassist Troy Sinatra provides a rich, early link between the groovy, thick percussion and the consistently tremendous riffs of guitarist and producer Jesse Kirkbride. If you thought Kirkbride’s production was killer, then you’ve never payed close attention to his guitar skills. Deliver Us is jam packed with bodacious grooves and furiously fretted riffs that will have the listener’s head banging at a lethal velocity. “Lead Poisoning,” the band’s latest single is a solid example, but Kirkbride’s greatest fretwork rears its head on “Notable Entity”—a track with some of his catchiest work yet—and “The Courtesan and Sitar Man,” which ranges from spastic shred to gloomy, oppressive dissonance with chill-inducing ease.
If Kirkbride and Sinatra’s sinister songwriting and masterful musicianship wasn’t enough to split the earth in twain, vocalist Bryan Long has everything it takes to finish the job with ease. Long’s talent is no secret—with a history of incredible releases and stunning guest appearances under his belt, coupled with his second-to-none live performance, he is easily in heavy music’s upper echelon of frontmen. Deliver Us takes him from king to God, as he murders every track with a malicious combination of fierce intensity, incredible range and energetic, driving endurance. Truthfully, every track exemplifies this, but “Begotten” is one of his strongest performances—as is “The Courtesan and Sitar Man,” which sees him shining among one of hardcore’s rising stars. Furthermore, where fans of The Masonic Diaries and the band’s debut EP were let down in the lack of politically driven aggression and lyrical content on the band’s most recent EP, they can, once more, be satisfied here—especially with Long’s lyrical prowess on “Lead Poisoning.” However, Long doesn’t limit himself to one topic or another, rather his lyrics range from hatred and anger (on “Altered,” et al) to self-loathing and depression (“Death Anxiety,” as well as “And Again, I’m Broken) and everything in between, giving fans new and old plenty of material to identify with.
While there are countless ways in which Deliver Us contains material reminiscent of previous Dealey Plaza albums (albeit amped up), what makes Deliver Us a truly magnificent album rests in the ways in which it is different from its predecessors. “Notable Entity,” as well as “Farewell, Farewell” and “And Again, I’m Broken” contain enormous portions of lofty, ambient dissonance, where Kirkbride’s guitars take a turn for the sludgy, and Sinatra’s bass keeps laying into the listener like a whip made of lead, delivering slow, deep gashes. But then, there are moments of the exact opposite—like those of “Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen,” or “The Courtesan and Sitar Man,” where Dealey Plaza dwell on devilish, clenched-fist-and-bloody-knuckle beatdown. “The Courtesan” especially sees Long straying out of his lyrical comfort zone, mirroring the storytelling vibe on “Two Wolves,” enrapturing the listener with each syllable. Past releases have established Dealey Plaza as masters of malicious deathcore, but Deliver Us sees them equally efficient at heavy hardcore and mammoth, sludgy metal as well.
The world can’t be broken if there’s no world at all—and that’s the approach Dealey Plaza take on Deliver Us, curing the aches and pains of our society by annihilating it and ruling over its ashes. With each song, Dealey Plaza grow more and more masterful—forcing the listener to wonder how long it will be, exactly, until Dealey Plaza have nothing left even close to their level to rule above.
For Fans Of: Beacons, I Declare War, Martyr Defiled, Oceano
By: Connor Welsh