Delusion Squared is no stranger to the website of Background Magazine. You can read the reviews of their first three albums. Namely Delusion Squared (see review) from 2010, Delusion Squared II (see review) from 2012 and The Final Delusion (see review) from 2015. My colleagues where happy with the music, less happy with the qualities of the female vocalist Lorraine Young. I do not know if she has taken note of the criticism, the fact is that she is no longer part of the band. Now the band only consists of the original members Emmanuel de Saint Meen (bass, keyboards and backing vocals) and Steven Francis (guitars, drums and lead vocals).
To be directly clear, Emmanuel and Steven made a really special album with Anthropocene. As far as I am concerned, it is special in the fact that this is an album that looks at the world differently from a lot of other music we are used off. Normally you will get themes about how we are ruining our world and that kind of doom scenarios. I have not really listened to the messages in the lyrics, however by the way of playing and especially the way of singing of Steven radiates a huge amount of hope, and warmth comes to mind. For me the word hope is the 'feeling and touching' message on this album.
'How can I classify the music?' I hear you asking. Well, that's really difficult to put into words. I will not let all songs pass by, that is not interesting with this album. Of course I can and will write facts that I notice. Through a lot of songs you will hear a kind of storyteller that binds the song together without being irritating. I hear some Anathema here and there and sometimes Steven sings like his namesake Steven Wilson. Walls And Protection has a bit of an Ayreon intro, in this song you will hear a bit of a metal element. With To This Day you will get the thought: okay, now I am in the future. In this song the beautiful voice of Steven is striking. You will also hear an original duel between keys and guitar, one of the highlights for me, well done. The Great Leap starts with hard hitting on the piano that gives the singer direction and you can hear beautiful organ played. The closing track Prayer deserves to be appointed because it is such a beautiful song that gives you goosebumps. It starts with a lot of ambiance and you'll be directly 'in the song'. Unprecedentedly beautiful guitars in combination with gorgeous piano playing leads the song. When there is also choral singing, you really have all the elements in this atmospheric closing song that could have lasted much longer than the song now takes.
Al in all I can say that Delusion Squared is top and bottom prog with really something of all styles without tending too much to one corner or another. In my experience, the band really thought about this music very well and the voice of Steven fits really well. Do yourself a favor and order the CD, it will surely please you.
**** Michel Stolk (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2018