REVIEW: Delusions of Grandeur – Efficacy [2013]


Artist: Delusions of Grandeur

Album: Efficacy

Preview / buy: Bandcamp

Pittsburgh originated progressive metal band Delusions of Grandeur knows what they want in life: skipping stones, boobs and tits, atleast that’s what it says on their Facebook, and I can’t say I disagree with that. But after hearing the freshly released debut ”Efficacy” I can deduce that they also want to make brilliant music, and they got what they wanted. Being in a succesfull band is every kid’s dream, although in the end they inevitably fail or decide to¬†pursue other goals, making it to the end is only reserved for the truly hard working ones. Delusions of Grandeur can count themselves among those lucky few. I am amazed at how this album turned out to be this good, it really is the complete package. Disregarding every sort of ”scene” that might be going on, these gentlemen tried creating something timeless and unique, while at the same time appealing to different crowds from all over the metal universe, from the breakdown and chaos loving Deathcore fans, to the people that prefer lengthy guitar sessions in which they can dream away.

The opening track ”Noname” is a good example of what this album has in store for you. The agressive high pitched screaming towering above the atmospheric sweeping, face-blasting guitar rhytmns and the underlying rolling drums do an amazing job of getting your attention, dont be surprised that shortly after, you will find yourself playing air guitar and headbanging along to the complex but addictive structures of each song. The progressive properties of ”Efficacy” will first become¬†apparent on the second song ”Humdinger”, when you are subjected to a long atmospheric intro that slowly leads to a batterizing and chaotic sound and later subsides to the exact opposite of that, there is a lot more diversity to be heard on this 7 minute track, but I won’t spoil too much of the fun, since this is arguably one the best songs on the album. Beginning with a spacy keyboard intro is the next song ”Quantum”, this spacey vibe is kept throughout most of the song and combined with a jazzy bass makes this one of those songs in which you do not wish to be disturbed by anyone or anything, don’t get too comfortable though because the song does an 180 at the end and treats you to a nice and slow breakdown complete with guttural squeals and everything! The next song has, you guessed it, yet another completely different sound to it than the song that preceded it, the dominant factors in ”Dan” are the Metalcore-ish melodies and shredding guitar solos, which go along quite nicely with the occasional breakdowns and keyboards. More progressive guitars can be heard on ”Hibernation” and the following ”The Pretty Song”, the latter features exacly what you would expect, a lot of pretty guitar melodies. From the vibe this song gives you, you can feel the album coming closer to the end. The outro ”Skyride” is an instrumental that allows you to float on clouds (hence the name) one more time, and consists entirely out of a serene and relaxing sound that slowly fades away.

It’s not my usual cup of tea, but delusional or not ,”Efficacy” has shown to be an magnificent album. It has become rare for me to describe every individual track on an album, after all, what’s the point if most of the albums more or less have the exact same instrumentals and structure? Albums like this have the ”timeless” factor because there is just so much to be heard, depending on your mood and attention span, every playthrough will sound differently. Whether you are sitting alone outside on a hot summer evening watching the sun go down while enjoying a cold glass of beer, or are in a car full with friends headbanging while blasting music as loud as possible, ”Efficacy” has something for everyone.

Rating: 10/10

For fans of: Slice the Cake, The Contortionist, Animals as Leaders, Amia Venera Landscape, After the Burial, Dream Theater