The Story of the Flood
My friend Grant Jordan (God for this analogy), drummer of The Deluge, came to me (Noah) and asked me to write a review (build an ark) about his band’s new album. He also asked me to listen to it first. And so I braved the tempest, a deluge is a flood for those without a dictionary, and sat down to listen to The Deluge’s Inverted Earth.
Knowing the band mates as I do, I was given the inside scoop: the (loose) concept of the album is a flood that wipes out our modern world. While you may have heard a thing or two about floods wiping out the earth, you probably haven’t heard many albums like this one.
The album begins energetically. “Variations” sets the atmosphere of the world. The impression is that of a tragically beautiful world haunted by, if nothing else, the sound of Matthew O'Rane’s viola laid over pulsating drums and ethereal vocals. “Inverted Earth” is the calm before the storm, a slowed down melody that marks the end of the line for the world.
Those opening tracks give way to “The Devil’s Postpile“, a change of pace that is the beginning of the end for modernity. “The Devil’s Postpile", if my facts are correct, will be the single. It is an apt single, displaying exactly what The Deluge has to offer: beautiful instrumentation, a hypnotic and soothing sound, and the ability to switch gears seamlessly. The song leads in with viola as the focal point and then a brief interlude of horns followed by vocals, guitar and then back to viola. The song is anchored by the bass and drums, allowing moments for the other instruments to break through.
“For forty days and forty nights….”
The flood continues on "Raindrop Matrices", "Liquid 7th", and "Undulations", my favorite song on the album. O’Rane’s frantic viola eventually bleeds into a smooth transition. "Undulations" makes use of an up tempo drum section that sounds like something from an Aphex Twin song. The viola raises the song to new heights but Jordan’s electronic-influenced drums, and some handy synth work, keep it centered.
The final two tracks, I hypothesized, represent the growth after the storm, once the water recedes. “Root” builds and builds until the clarinet takes firm hold of the composition, nestling it back into a solid melody that is followed by the final track, "Waterfalls."
I found myself searching for similar music, listening to different progressive rock, jazz rock/fusion and electronica before giving up altogether. The closest I came to finding a similar sound was Weather Report, but they were too jazz-like to be in the exact genre of The Deluge. Giving up, I called Mr. Jordan who was as perplexed as I was to find a name for The Deluge’s sound. He did, however, reinforce a few of the similar bands I mentioned.
Classification aside, the album is a wonderful listen. Though I feel it is an album to be sat and listened to, a practice that has become scarce these days, I found myself playing Devil’s Postpile and Undulations over and over again by themselves. Andrew Mckee, Matthew O’Rane and Grant Jordan wrote all the compositions on the album with Mckee and O’Rane playing several instruments throughout. The album will be available on itunes in the very near future, but in the meantime, you can find the band at http://www.myspace.com/thedelugemusic. Be fruitful and multiply!