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Verbal Delirium - From The Small Hours Of Weakness CD (album) cover

FROM THE SMALL HOURS OF WEAKNESS

Verbal Delirium

 

Crossover Prog

3.94 | 70 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

DeKay
5 stars After listening to the debut of Verbal Delirium, "So Close And Yet So Far Away", more than 2 years ago, I was surprised by the personal style in songwriting and orchestration. Since then, I had been curious what their second album would be like. To be honest, based on the apparent musical talent and potential in this band, I was quite optimistic. However, my expectations were (luckily) way below my impression of this album upon first listen...

The band's biggest achievement in "From The Small Hours Of Weakness" is that they retained their character and managed to evolve, obtaining specificity at the same time. The album is quite dark, but not even slightly unpleasant. It is very tight, and yet it flows unstoppably, almost slyly. It is not a concept album, however its structure, the flow of songs, and the transitions from narrative instrumental parts to epic crescendos are "misleading", again in favor of Verbal Delirium.

The album kicks off with "10.000 Roses", kind of a prog hit song, which builds slowly with keyboards and flute and explodes into a stunning British psych/prog middle theme, with Nikitas Kissonas being reminiscent of Keith Cross' (T2) heavy prog guitar style. "Desire" is a typical 70s British prog, keyboard orientated narrative song, mainly influenced by the golden prog era of Genesis. Jargon's dreamy lyrics and vocals are followed by an epic prog outburst and dramatic melodies (superb mellotron here!), which dissolve into a sweet classical outro. "Erebus", a free saxophone (David Jackson style) intro, leads to "Dance Of The Dead", instrumental as well, one of the darkest parts in the album. Wonderfully built with VDGG influences and a touch of RIO, it serves as a passage to "The Losing Game", which starts smoothly with smart and wonderfully detailed orchestration and brilliant vocal lines in the (beloved) Peter Hammill vein. At the end of the third minute, a sweet and groovy guitar melody (mainly like Santana here) enters and is built magnificently until the end of the song. "Disintegration" is the most alternative piece in the album and maybe the most conservative (and yet so progressive). The influence of Radiohead is apparent, as well as Verbal Delirium's own rocking style, with pop/rock vocal harmonies. The piano and the guitar solos here are among the best moments in the album, both technically and inspirationally. "Dance Of The Dead (Reprise)" darkens the atmosphere, as the melancholic melodies of "Sudden Winter" begin. A standout song, a sensational piece of music, this is directly effective, although (or because?) it is purely and bravely sentimental, simple, rich, direct, gentle and delicate. Tony Banks should be proud of Jargon, the mastermind behind Verbal Delirium, who really shines on this one. Apart from early Genesis, there are strong Greek elements here, with Jargon's piano and great mandolin by Kissonas. The album finishes with its longest track, "Aeons", which starts off with "Part 1 - In The Dream Room", a dark, haunting, progressive and energetic piece, which turns into a Greek musical form of psych/prog chaos ("Part 2 - Roaming In Chaos"), which is gradually dismantled to an electronic prog/krautrock (mainly Tangerine Dream here) never ending outro. A song truly worth of its title.

The profound solidity of Verbal Delirium's second release owes a lot to the production and mixing of the album (credits to Jargon and Leonidas Petropoulos). Though the whole thing was recorded at a home studio and is an independent production, the level of sound is really high. Nikos Nikolopoulos (of the great Ciccada) on flute and saxophone adds a lot of prog rock essence to the band's music and taste of sound, which is probably their greatest achievement here. Early 70s British progressive rock is wonderfully blended with 90s alternative rock, while dark, psychedelic and experimental elements add that extra spice to Verbal Delirium's recipe. What's more, the band's music inevitably sounds explorative and fresh; a personal statement on progressive rock, rather than a reiteration of traditional forms of the genre.

A brilliant and addictive album from start to finish, "From The Small Hours Of Weakness" attracts the listener by its unique character, atmosphere and artistic sincerity. Simplicity is rarely so majestic. This is without a doubt one of the best prog releases of 2013 and it has already gained its rightful position among the best Greek progressive rock albums ever.

A near masterpiece, recommended to all fans of progressive music.

DeKay | 5/5 |

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