This is the follow up to 2015’s striking Æther, which was a powerhouse of violence and atmosphere. Five years later, and the band are not the same beast anymore, not completely anyway. Ægo Templo takes the essential ingredients of Æther and expands on them, increasing the post-hardcore elements, while adding greater variety in the vocals.
The band’s use of shimmering post-metal resplendence and ephemeral shoegaze atmospherics is engaging, and these fit well into their violent blast beat sections. Of the latter, there are less of these overall on Ægo Templo, with Déluge opting for an increased mid-paced delivery that highlights their post-hardcore elements. This approach works well for the most part.
As mentioned, the vocals are much more diverse on Ægo Templo. From blackened screams to brutal shouts, to hardcore rough semi-cleans, to full-on singing, there’s a wealth of good performances here. This is probably the most notable area where Déluge have changed their delivery, at least on first glance.
I like Déluge’s new direction. They’ve mostly retained their old strengths and gained some new ones. Ægo Templo is a much more diverse and layered album than I was expecting. What the band lose in extremity they gain in melancholic mood, emotive atmosphere, and improved dynamics; it certainly seems a fair trade to me. It is great to see Déluge develop their sound so effectively.
An engaging and enjoyable listen. A recommended listen.