Deliluh draw from guitar music and electronica on new album ‘Fault Lines’.

Words: Dominic Rose

Released on the eternally heavyweight output of Tin Angel Records – part of a label group consisting of Meat Machine & Unheard of Hope – Deliluh strike hot with their latest album ‘Fault Lines’, drawing the angst from the stone and painting with an overwrought beauty that can be seen in kind through progeners of the craft. Optimizing each arrangement and setting the tone as one of patience, these songs flourish given the space of mind – losing none of the intensity across the albums runtime. 

The record is a marriage of so many joys that it speaks volumes when the sorrows sing loudest. Corroborating influences across the entire 90’s mid-western America, ‘Fault Lines’ shines specifically through those cracks it offers in the format. Drawn heavily from guitar music, akin to The Van Pelt or at times Sonic Youth, the ambient electronic spirit that carries through the record sinks its teeth into a now vulnerable flesh – reframing each guitar led solo or drum breakdown until they’re all seen as blood in the same vein. This album has provoked a very unconscious part of my listening body. 

It’s difficult to discuss this record without drawing a direct relation to the work of early Nine Inch Nails – not always in songwriting, but in the scope of emotion offered by the saturated, itch-ridden performances being paired against a more experimental approach toward sound processing. Most notably this happens in the vocals (small spaces, with finely tuned bandwidth filters evoking an unnaturally candid sound) but alongside the grunge of post-punk guitars they are buoyed to the studio production and synth squalls that seek solace in the ideas laid out decades prior. This is no criticism however, as the expansion on these themes offers more than simply an erudite retread, but in fact a point of anchor to investigate all of the waters that surround (and were born by) these genre explorations.

Knowing the evolution of this project has taken them from Toronto – the bristling post-punk scene offering so many of music’s finest – to the electronic heartbeat of the world in Berlin presents the records pursuant ideas as a capitulation to both change (in location & style) and yet also to the pedagogy of electronica, with a history of techno-ambient kraut-scapes that ignited an experimentalist revolution to European arrangement and orchestration post-war. The state of inheritance and musical ancestry swims through the albums tracklisting, with the opening song titled ‘Memorial’ – a beautiful elegy of liberation through subsumption – laying the footprints for what’s to follow: “Surrender my heart to fire, and settle my mind to ease. Open the latch to vastness, and carry me on the breeze.” 

‘Mirror of Hope’ the album’s closer captures the tranquillity of the record in its most distilled form, with a promise of orchestrated eruption being born through violin lines delicately emerging against the ARP synths. It’s not lightly offered either, taking up nearly two-thirds of the final tracks runtime – reminding me in places of the Erased Tapes output (Nils Frahm, Kiasmos, Winged Victory for the Sullen) – and in essence so effortlessly portraying the lift from previously suffocated, angst ridden soundscapes. The thread of this record holds itself together as one of emergence, weaving a bittersweet melody that fights against the past of our own inspirations. Born from the old ways we find the new.