Recorded in Oslo and Asker, 2007–2009. Recorded and engineered by Bjeima and Petter Berntsen. Mixed by Petter Berntsen. Mastered at Strand Studio. Released on Adversum in 2010.
“Kim Fredrik Hauger, Member 001 and Mannevond were official members but Kim Sølve and Bjeima ultimately decided to record the whole album by themselves for practical reasons.”
Delirium, Dissonance and Death is the perfect name for this album from Norwegian death-meisters Delirium Bound because dissonance is most definitely at the centre of what they do. Dissonance in music is “a combination of notes that sounds harsh or unpleasant” (Wikipedia), like a minor second. Well, here we have a combination of notes that lasts an entire album. Overall this is like the aural equivalent of sucking sour sweets.
It isn’t your stereotypical black metal album in the vein of (first wave black metal band) Morbid Angel or (second wave) Dimmu Borgir. To my ear this has more in common with early Voivod fused with elements of early Prong and Renewal-era Kreator which was experimental, industrial-influenced and one of my favourite albums of theirs. It’s like a metallized reboot of fellow Norwegians Virus who also delighted in that discordant, avant-garde sound.
This mix on this album is good, it has a fair balance between vocals, guitars, bass and drums. Each instrument is given the space it needs to breathe, although if I had one criticism it would be to lay off the cymbals a bit more. Some tracks have an almost constant white noise of top-end crash. The guitar has a good modern crunch reminiscent of a US hi-gain amp.
Having listened to a lot of Voivod over the years this album has a strangely familiar feel in places and I keep finding myself racking my brains to remember what some passage or riff reminds me of. A one point in the car yesterday I found myself unconsciously singing out loud, “ALL SYSTEMS GO!”
My stand out tracks are “Zippermouth” which opens slowly with a terribly discordant arpeggio but soon morphs into a galloping chug that eventually slows again to a ponderous conclusion; “Death kings” begins with a fabulous sounding distorted palm-muted chug (I could listen to that sound all day!), but soon gives way to a dissonant two-note riff that burrows into your head against a stop-start riff—brilliant!
From start to finish this isn’t always the easiest album to listen to, but that makes it all the more interesting. I love that discordant, dissonant sound. Come on Delirium Bound, I want another album! (Please.)
Review score: 85%