I was afraid to listen to this album at first as my expectations were high due to my love for their previous album "Twin Galaxies," but I was floored by "Ghost City."
Although there seems to be more screaming vocal parts "Ghost City" showcases the calmer side of math rock, focusing more so on vocal melodies than overly technical guitar soloing. The screaming isn't particularly violent or enraged by any means, it's a more controlled and impassioned aggressiveness that I get from Guitarist / Lead vocalist Devin Yüceil. The harsh vocals employed are from that of a man crying out in pain but not whining. It's more akin to a war cry from a solider on the losing side of the battlefield, fed up and tired with the way things have turned out running into the war-zone with his last bit of will, heart pounding, gun in hand, ready to die for his beliefs.
My favorite track on Ghost City is #4 "Single File." With an infectiously catchy first few lines dripped out like honey in the beginning stages of the song, urges of wanting to break free from the mundane rituals of the daily 9-5 grind are made clear in the lyrics. This mold breaking attitude truly embodies what it feels like to live in a big city, and one's desire to make it out of there. This story takes place in a future metropolis where nature essentially does not exist. This concept is ever so relevant in today's age with the continual rise of industry. My opinion is that this track has a beautiful airy vibe to it that creates a hopeful contrast to the rest of the album.
The concept of this album is a fantastic critique on societies' lack of attention towards nature, which is great cause for the dark undertones that come out through the lyrics as well as the instrumentation presented. While being less excessively complex as any previous Delta Sleep releases, the direction taken is still quite unexpected and exciting in that there is a strong emphasis on the stories between the guitar and bass patterns.
Although Delta Sleep are not as widely known as they should be throughout the world they maintain a prominence in the English and North American math rock scenes and are loved by many fans of all related genres. This is a fantastic album, give it a listen if you haven't already. I may be biased as a fan, but Delta Sleep have remained true to their roots and at the same time made something slightly different by taking a step in a new direction with "Ghost City." Enjoy!
Written by: Mazatl Coatl
Editor: M Chan
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Ghost city review