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Deluge Grander - August In The Urals CD (album) cover

AUGUST IN THE URALS

Deluge Grander

 

Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 104 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Dan Britton is a man that I have come to have an enormous amount of respect for, and the recent arrival of my Emkog 2010 Sampler has reminded me that it has been far too long since I listened to any of his material.

Deluge Grander was Dan's first project - okay, technically, he was in Cerberus Effect before this, but this is the first one that was his (Cerberus Effect already had released some material before he even joined the group). And this is Deluge Grander's first album. There is no doubting that there is some sort of crazy, idea-spewing genius living inside the brain of Dan Britton. And Deluge Grander is a band that I wish I could always give five star ratings to. The music is dense, complex, challenging, original, and interesting.

Unfortunately, as much as I can hear the genius behind the music and as much as I can tell that someday - someday - this band will release a masterpiece, or just as likely, a string of them, they haven't quite hit that point yet.

This album suffers from two major flaws. The first is the production - which, in itself, wouldn't necessarily be too bad, but it is not as clear as one would like, especially with music that is as dense as this. 99% of the time, I would never mention this but after having seen Deluge Grander perform live on the Romantic Warriors DVD, I realised that there are some excellent parts that are buried under the music, either because of the production or the mixing. Some of this is also cleared up in the Emkog sampler.

The second flaw are the second and third tracks - each of which, while I wouldn't necessarily call bad, tend to drag and vanish from memory not long after they end.

Deluge Grander's second release, The Form of The Good, would be a much more consistent release than this one, but this one still has their best moments. Specifically, I am talking about the last two tracks, "A Squirrel" and "The Solitude of Miranda". These are just as dense and complex as anything else in this album, but it feels on these tracks like the band really cut loose, each being quite upbeat and, dare I say it - fun and catchy. Perhaps this is why I always forget August in the Urals and Abandoned Mansion Afternoon - each is slower and more ponderous, and the energy of these closing tracks simply takes over.

I have sort of a confusing relationship with the opening epic, Inaugural Bash (In - Aug - Ural - August In the Urals - coincidence?). When not listening to it, I don't feel like it is worth being 27 minutes long, yet whenever I do listen to it, I tend to enjoy it from first note to the last. It is full of strong dynamics, great melodies, and odd sounds - all with the denseness and creativity that make Deluge Grander such an awesome band. But it just doesn't have enough parts that are memorable enough for it to feel like a fulfilling 27 minute songs while it's not playing. I don't know, it's complicated.

All nitpicking aside, this is a very strong first effort, and with music that is this challenging to listen to, i imagine it is much more difficult to write it perfectly the first time through. And it demonstrates that, once they've perfected their process, Deluge Grander is going to be a major force in the prog world.

TheGazzardian | 3/5 |

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