Formed in Kuopio, Finland in 1998, DE LIRIUM’S ORDER explore the genre of technical death metal by drawing inspiration from a variety of other genres. After a long songwriting process, the band has finally returned with their fourth studio effort "Singularity". The album tells the story of now until the point in time when the technological advancement of artificial intelligence becomes self-aware, understands that it's a being, and is trying to find its purpose in the universe. Ultimately the album tells the story of a universe where there are no more stars, no more black holes, just radiation and the artificial intelligent being is there.
DE LIRIUM'S ORDER has the galaxy within its grasp from the moment the evocative introductory track "I Have Awakened" starts. Having the real drive to actually tell a sci-fi inspired story with a technical death metal soundtrack, DE LIRIUM'S ORDER dives straight into "Ayatollah", a difficult piece, that embraces its technical nature, but also is not afraid to shoot for the stars. The orchestrated passages remind me remotely of the galaxies faraway we all came to know as STAR WARS. "Ayatollah", however, is nothing new, it showcases the band's old style in a contemporary setting.
DE LIRIUM'S ORDER seeks beyond its boundaries in the next tracks, as they know that they have boldly grabbed your attention with both hands. "Singularity", the title track of the album, introduces a new twist in the story. By introducing clean vocals into their sound, DE LIRIUM'S ORDER makes a bold statement and choice. I always saw technical death metal as a very strict genre, with very little room to imagination, but with the theme comes every sparkle of fantasy, and this is introduced in melodic and power metal-styled vocals infused in audacious vocal harmonies, all contributed by guest singer Mikael Salo (Everfrost, Dyecrest, Metal De Facto, Thy Row). The combination of both vocalists in this song is perhaps completely unexpected, but works like a charm.
"Surfaced" is a speedy blast of a track, sweeping through highs and low without a moment's notice. It's well-paced and full of intriguing moments, such as the bass section by Erkki Silvennoinen (Omnium Gatherum, Raskasta Joulua) which brings the song to a whole new level, and even introduces a more jazzy side to the album, leading to a slow, but epic guitar solo.
Rising into something much darker, with gnarly dark blast beats, ringing guitars and overall a grim atmosphere, "The Billion Year Contract" offers the highlight of the album, with clean vocals inspired by BLIND GUARDIAN, and the deathly growls of vocalist Kari Olli, a dialogue between both singers emerges and gets interrupted by the detailed epic orchestrations in the background, and a guitar solo that brings us light-years away.
"Acoustic Medley" offers a bit of breathing space in the heavy album, and has the other biggest twists of the album in store for us: an accordion player. Viivi-Maria Saarenkylä shows her skill set shortly but beautifully.
The album takes us to the first released single of the album "Orion's Cry". This song is by far the most connected to its sci-fi theme, and includes sections with Gregorian-like chanting. It's during these passages that when you close your eyes you might find yourself in the middle of a galactic storm, with shooting stars and asteroid all around you. The song transforms into something equally as ominous, with an added layer of epicness thrown in, adding sometimes even some groove into the mix.
In "Piazolla", DE LIRIUM'S ORDER pays homage to Astor Piazolla's Libertango, a track that is also incorporated into the song. It’s an epic track, taking all the subtle moments that builds towards the momentum of the Libertango performed by Viivi-Maria Saarenkylä throughout its run time, and turn the volume up to max. Additionally in this song is the guest appearance of Marko Salonen who lends his beautiful deep voice to the song which fits perfectly with the tango-styled technical death metal song.
The album concludes with "The End of Time", is perhaps the darkest and most apocalyptic song of the album. The ominous atmosphere doesn't really get much lighter due to the ticking clock and the eerie vocal performance by Mikael Salo. The song starts off quite calm, but soon dives into its real sinister tempo and mood. If you were wondering what tempo this is, it is indeed a trillion beats per minute. Before you know it the track is over, and leaves you wondering what the hell just happened, a strange ending, but it certainly fits within the style of the album, after all, there is supposed to be nothingness.
Let's face it, the topic of the story is quite movie-like, and could even make up for a very cool rock opera. That is precisely what this album feels like. A story, with different characters present who tell their perspective of things. The reason why I'm mentioning the rock opera, is because the album (even though completely different style) has a similar flow to it as for example, THE WHO's "Quadrophenia" and even though short in its length it would certainly be a great story to translate to the stage.
"Singularity" somewhat feels like an oddity in the genre of technical death metal. During my interview with the band, Mikael Salo referred to Juha Kupiainen - who is the band's main songwriter - as "The Arjen Lucassen of technical death metal", I couldn't agree with that statement more. Getting inspired by the strangest, most unexpected of things, and integrating it in the sound is brilliant. Who would expect technical death metal to feel at times jazzy, at times groovy, to get combined with tango, or even to be fairly melodic?
With "Singularity" DE LIRIUM'S ORDER is stepping beyond the frameworks of the genre of technical death metal, while still respecting its foundation and thus showcase that the sky is most certainly not the limit.
- I Have Awakened (Intro)
- The Billion Year Contract
- Acoustic Medley
- Orion’s Cry
- The End of Time
Kari Olli - Vocals
Juha Kupiainen - Guitars
Vesa Nupponen - Guitars
Erkki Silvennoinen - Bass
Ukri Suvilehto - Drums
Mikael Salo - Clean Vocals on “Singularity”, “Surfaced”, “A Billion Year Contract”, “Orion’s Cry” and “The End Of Time”
Marko Salonen - Clean Vocals on “Piazzolla”
Viivi-Maria Saarenkylä - Accordion on ‘’Acoustic Medley’’ and ‘’Piazzolla’’