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De Lirium's Order nails this one - 90%

SouthofHeaven11, October 29th, 2007

Melodic death metal is like a black rose. It has an aura of beauty surrounding it, yet its still dark. The beauty originates from the melody, and often introspective and intellectual lyrical topics, but its darkness resides in the heavier tone of the music (death metal influences). The genre itself isn’t known for its brutal nature, but for more of a tranquil one. De Lirium’s Order, being categorized as melodic death, is so far from this that it’d be a crime to compare them to bands like Dark Tranquillity or Insomnium, who are considered the giants of the genre.

Incorporating a strong thrash influence, De Lirium’s Order is noticeably faster, heavier, and in most cases, darker. There is no beauty to be found here, only insanity. Their latest album, “Diagnosis”, is a demented trip through Hell, told by blast beats, frenetic solos, and scorching vocals.

“Diagnosis: Deranged”, a venom-laced speed fest, shows De Lirium’s Order embracing their thrash roots a bit more than on their previous release “Victim No. 52”. While on their past work, where melodic death outweighed thrash by a good amount, the distribution of the two genres have been almost set equal this time around. Most of the frenzied lead work split between chugging riffs is now toned down in place of a more straightforward, pounding approach, such as on “Panzram” and “To Walk With the Dead”. E.R. Insane’s drumming, while still very similar to his style on “Victim No. 52”, seems to fit here even more, as he tends to utilize a bit more speed in both his fills and patterns. Since this album has a bit more thrash, it really helps lock the riffs together.

Besides the upped thrash influence, much of De Lirium’s Order’s recipe remains the same: brutal melo-death that revolves around torture/murder/insanity/etc. Much of NekroC and Dr. Lirium’s technical prowess returns, as fills still show their grace on “Drowned in the World of Delirium” and “Ebola Instinct”. Along with maintaining a strong technical edge in their riff work, the two continue to pump out brilliantly composed solos, which seem to balance melody and ferocity perfectly, namely on tracks such as “Extermination Network” and “Drowned in the World of Delirium”.

One thing, however, that’s new that won’t be as easy to notice is the departure of vocalist Corpse, who has now been replaced by Infection. At first listen, both sound nearly identical, but as the album churns on, small differences are noticeable. For starters, Corpse tended to utilize a much deeper growl, and while Infection sounds very similar, he also occasionally pitches his voice to more of a frenzied scream. For the most part, however, it’s really not much of a difference, since Infection possesses that same, sick relationship that Corpse had with NekroC and Dr. Lirium. On “Thy Flesh Consumed”, he roars out “The beauty of self-torture, the premium delight of man flesh! and is believably backed up by searing riffs that give off a majestic feel of death.

There are a few minor gripes about “Diagnosis”, however. The closing track, “Abducted”, is a bit of a dull closer, as it comes across as an almost one-riff chugging song. Also, the solos, being one of the major selling points of this band, are neglected on that track as well as the opener “Diagnosis: Deranged”. While this isn’t enough to take away from the experience of the latter, they are sorely missed since they are incredibly enjoyable. The final gripe is with the cover song, “Incarnated Solvent Abuse”, which is a Carcass cover. It’s done extraordinarily well, there’s no doubt about that, but it would’ve been nice to see another track from the band instead of a cover.

That being said, “Diagnosis” is the band’s best release to date. While only marginally better than “Victim No. 52”, it offers a bit more variety and a heavier base (if that was even possible). Tracks like “Ebola Instinct” and “Ad Infinitum” are surely to become favorites among the death metal community, and even for those thrash. “Diagnosis” is sick, psychotic, twisted, vicious, insane, mentally unstable, and once again just to press it into your minds, sick. Metal heads rejoice, for the hour of severe head banging is at hand!

Overall – 90

Recommended Tracks:
Ebola Instinct
Ad Infinitum
Extermination Network
Drowned in the World of Delirium