Verbal Delirium are a Greek progressive rock band who formed in 2006. They have released four albums to date ‘The Imprisoned Words of Fear’ (2016), ‘From The Small Hours Of Weakness’ (2013) and ‘So Close And Yet So Far Away’ (2010), with ‘Conundrum’ being the latest, and second with Bad Elephant Music. This release is definitely interesting, mixing heavier elements with articulate vocals and sounds to create great music. This is my first exposure to the band and here are my thoughts on the album.
The album has eight tracks which vary in length and in style, ranging from brief vignettes like Falling with its Saga like sounds, especially in the vocals by Jargon, through to epic pieces like The Watcher and Neon Eye Cage, which are both over nine minutes in duration. Musically the sounds range from semi-choral to Beatles-like parts, elements of prime Queen through to jazzy inspired sections with saxophone and clarinet and violin and epic, partially ambient, soundscapes all tied together with a solid rock beat and groove. All this together makes for a unique and satisfying listening experience. The team of Jargon on vocals, George Pagidas on bass, Stratos Morianos on keyboards, Vasilis Armaos on drums and George Kyriakidis on guitar are a sensationally tight and focused unit who together bring this great music to life.
This jazzy element is most clearly espoused in title track Conundrum which really has a bounce and a spring in its step. Likewise, The Watcher also impresses with its use of Hammond Organ to swell the sound along with its Saga like vocals and the fiery guitar of George Kyriakidis, whose playing enlivens and grabs the attention throughout the track. The song is epic in style with a growing intensity that runs through the track. It’s a song you need to hear for yourself as it really makes a statement for the band, showing their dexterity in the composition and their skills to realise the piece. It really is a slow burner of a track but certainly impresses me, as does Neon Eye Cage, which opens with gentle electric piano and a graceful vocal from Jargon sounding not unlike Mika on this section. The song gains both pace and power with a unique guitar and keyboards exchange taking the song forward. I really like this sound, it’s different and fresh sounding, adding great dynamics to an already intriguing sound palette, there is also a fine guitar break at the six minute point which I find very melodious. This ends with strong bass and keyboards before resuming again to reach greater heights with more doubled guitar lines moving to the piano to take us to the end. The return of the electric piano tones and even more ‘Mikaesque’ vocals conclude this most fascinating piece.
Fall From Grace is the album’s last track, this reintroduces the Saga like vocals over graceful piano lines and orchestrations before a sturdy drumbeat begins. This song is a slower paced track but it has a strong melody and is very impressive sounding with another scorching guitar break lifting the track significantly. The guitar is very expressive and striking with lots of space and time allowed for it to soar as the song plays, it is all rather fine really. The vocalist Jargon is fabulous on this album and his vocals are both clear and strong with great phrasing and articulation and these really do make an impression.
I would say this album is rather fine indeed and is a grower that warrants attention and one that really is deserving of a wider audience. The prog world can be very insular at times and its fans can sadly be closed to great new music. Hopefully they will discover that which can be heard on this very rewarding album. I was certainly taken with it and can recommend it to open minded music lovers, it is highly impressive and deeply rewarding.
Released 25th November, 2022.
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