Spectrum of Delusion – Neoconception (Review)

Spectrum of Delusion - NeoconceptionThis is the second album from Spectrum of Delusion, a death metal band from the Netherlands.

Neoconception features 44 minutes of technical/progressive death metal. The promo blurb states that “Neoconception will strongly appeal to fans of groups such as Spawn of Possession, Suffocation, Obscura, Defeated Sanity, The Faceless, Blotted Science, and Nile“. Hard to argue, although I’d also add groups like Gorod, Beyond Creation, and Aronious.

Fretless bass wanderings seem to somehow underpin everything, despite them seemingly having a tendency to just do their own thing when they want to. However much it may sound like that though, in reality they’re cleverly incorporated into the rest of the music, which itself goes off on multiple tangents and creative twists when it feels like it. Spectrum of Delusion have a complicated approach to songwriting, but this method of constructing the music on this album has definitely paid dividends for them.

The band’s complex, atypical songwriting largely favours shorter cuts over longer ones initially, although there are a few tracks that are a bit longer on the second half of the album, which is a symptom of the following; for the first half of the album the songs bleed into each other, making the best listening experience for these to be experienced in order, (in fact, I wonder why the band didn’t just lump them all together as one giant track? A missed opportunity I feel). After this, the songs each become more differentiated and individual in their own right, presenting a real album of two parts.

The music has a sort of reined in chaotic feel to it, with shredding technicality giving rise to a variety different textures. Ferocious groove and punishing riffs are offset by inventive leads and the ever-present bass. Brutality is certainly present, but theirs is not an overly brutal approach to death metal. Rather, brutality is simply one tool of many to be utilised by the band from the technical and progressive death metal toolboxes. An interesting aspect of Spectrum of Delusion’s music is that it remains less impenetrable than a lot of technical death metal, as a result of their keen use of melody, perhaps.

Neoconception is definitely an album to appreciate best over time, but it’s one that is very rewarding and enjoyable as and when you do. There’s a lot of content here, and the talented band shape and deliver it very well. If you’re a fan of technical death metal, or any of the bands mentioned above, then Neoconception should be high on your list of albums to check out.

Very highly recommended.

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