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DELUGE GRANDER

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Deluge Grander biography
It was after Cerebus Effect's third release, Acts Of Deception that Dan Britton (keyboards, vocals and some guitars) approached Patrick Gaffney (drums) and suggested they form a new group together. Dan had been working on material of his own and wanted this new group to record this music he had composed and even play it live. They were joined by guitarist Dave Berggren who added to the repertoire and later on by Brett d'Anon who plays bass.

Their first album August In The Urals was released in September 2006 through the new label EMKOG. In this album they are joined by several guest musicians: Jeff Suzdal plays saxophones on the first track; Adnarim Dadelos performs the vocal on the last track; a special appearance is Brett d'Anon's uncle Frank d' Anon which is a mutli instrumentalist and on the album he plays on xylophone, trumpet, flute & keyboards on the first and last tracks and also contributed to the writing process.

This first release presents a softer sound than that of Cerebus Effect. Cerebus was labeled Canterbury Metal due to its eclectic style which employed use of elements from various musical genres such as the two mentioned above and the obvious fusion/jazz-rock basis. That same basis is also found on Deluge Grander, only this band has stripped itself from the metallic sounds and instead now incorporates a more symphonic rock based approach. Yes; you can even hear mellotron sounding keyboards on several tracks. The Canterburian sound has not been neglected as well and it is too revisited on certain occasions throughout the album. With all this said, the fusion basis of this band appears to be the strongest and most dominant sound here.
This release is a stroke of fresh air in the progressive rock "camp".

The flawless mixture that Deluge Grander presents is not only enjoyable to listen to, but also carries you away with its enthusiasm. Their music, while influenced by older bands of the aforementioned genres, is nevertheless a pleasure to hear and does not feel in any way like a rehash of the same thing; but rather creating an original sound that is the culmination of what is best from each style. Deluge Grander is from the Baltimore/DC area in the USA.

==Assaf Vestin (avestin)==

Their second album "The Form of the Good" was released to great acclaim in 2009. In February 2014 the band is set to release "Heliotians" with a revamped 6-piece line-up featuring Dan Britton, Christopher West, Megan Wheat...
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August in the UralsAugust in the Urals
Emkog 2006
Audio CD$18.87
$8.99 (used)
The Form of the GoodThe Form of the Good
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$9.99
$3.97 (used)
HeliotiansHeliotians
CD Baby 2014
Vinyl$34.53
August in the Urals by Deluge Grander (2013-05-03)August in the Urals by Deluge Grander (2013-05-03)
Emkog
Audio CD$54.44
The Form of the Good by Deluge Grander (2012-05-04)The Form of the Good by Deluge Grander (2012-05-04)
Emkog
Audio CD$39.99
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DELUGE GRANDER discography


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DELUGE GRANDER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 123 ratings
August In The Urals
2006
3.80 | 99 ratings
The Form Of The Good
2009
3.83 | 63 ratings
Heliotians
2014

DELUGE GRANDER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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DELUGE GRANDER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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DELUGE GRANDER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 August In The Urals by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 123 ratings

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August In The Urals
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

5 stars Difficult music. If you need a melody or a refrain to hook up with a song, this is not your band. But it is worth giving it a try. Deluge's music is no doubt a musical adventure, and everyone will get out with something interesting. This first release by Britton in Deluge's is a masterpiece of compositional work. Some themes are more experimental than others, but none is boring, they are highly dynamic with perfect blend of instruments all coming together for a unique orchestral experience, even some peculiar vocals are not in excess. Amongst the less risky are the album title track and the delicious A Squirrel. The musicianship is excellent, an obligatory asset to interpret such a complex music. I wouldn't dare to list any influences by specific groups or styles, so varied and eclectic is, without approaching jazz-rock fusion as it is often found in this type of bands that normally drink on Canterbury-Prog. The tracks are 8 to 25 min long, true major opus of modern music. The opening is also the longest track, in which you will begin to appreciate the impressive compositional skill and originality of the band, although the final 5 min could have been spared. The closing track is simply gorgeous, The Solitude of Miranda. Britton is a great of all times. Try to catch up with his music, you won't be sorry.
 The Form Of The Good by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 99 ratings

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The Form Of The Good
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If you're interested in finding a highly musical prog-rock experience, it would be very challenging to do much better than Form of the Good, the second album by Deluge Grander. Dan Britton and company deliver us a symphonic prog album that practically overflows with musical ideas. This isn't symphonic prog in the vein of Flower Kings or Yes or some of the other key bands within this sub-genre; Deluge Grander is instrumental, highly composed, and intense music that will appeal to fans of Music (with a capital "M"). Casual listeners will probably be bored, but those of us that can appreciate the technical proficiency of the band's playing and the subtlety of the songwriting are in for a treat.

If you're familiar with Britton's various projects, Form of the Good should be a mandatory purchase. It isn't as intense as his Birds and Buildings band, or even the preceding Deluge Grander release. Form is richly textured and nuanced and unapologetic for its musical excesses. I'm very impressed by the maturity of composition; it feels like some lost symphonic work from an earlier time, transposed for a rock band. I wouldn't say that Britton is showing restraint, given the amount of sounds we hear, but it does feel that the negative space is used more effectively than before. The range of pitches and in the timbre between and within songs is huge, from the fat, bottom-heavy fuzz of the bass to the twittering woodwinds that come and go throughout. There is an amazing amount of variety here, so much in fact it may be too much, a common but fair bit of criticism for an album that commands your attention and respect, but doesn't necessarily want to remind you why you should return. For example, there aren't any soaring solo moments or memorable hooks to grab hold of ... just tons and tons and tons of music; it lets you do with it what you will.

Overall I highly recommend this album to prog-heads wanting something technical, instrumental, but with a personality that differs from the "normal" prog sound. Check out Form of the Good, and any of Brittons' other projects, for that matter!

Songwriting: 5 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: NA - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

 August In The Urals by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 123 ratings

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August In The Urals
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars August in the Urals is an ambitious blend of meticulously composed symphonic prog-rock and jazz fusion. Largely instrumental, Dan Britton and band bring their impressive songwriting and playing virtuosity with panache. Songs are extended and diverse, consisting of countless musical ideas that shift tempo, dynamics, and tone regularly. While in reality most of these ideas were probably stitched together in the studio, the result is a mature sound that feels organic. There is a ton of music to consume with this release, and it'll take a dedicated listener to discover them all!

First let's talk about the overall feel of August in the Urals. Throughout this album you'll hear a band recreating the "classic" prog sound better than most of the other throwback groups around today. There's something about the production that really captures a rawness that was heard frequently in the '70's. Nothing is overproduced, and there are no slick studio tricks; this really does sound the band is playing this stuff in one take and in unison, and it's very impressive. If you love to hear real musicianship in your music, you'll get an overwhelming amount of it with this album! Songs make no effort to create hooks memorable melodies; they are musical moments that move from one to the next, allowing you to take away what you will in the process.

Instrumentally the group is off the charts. They pull off ambitious compositions in what sounds like effortless proficiency. Britton's keyboards are varied and always doing something interesting. Bassist d'Anon plays very melodically, often with a fuzz distortion that gives moments of this album sound very Crimson-esque (from "Red" era). Berggren's guitars are very understated, sounding little like a typical rock player, but using restraint and enthusiasm when called for. He's at his best when playing in a classical style. Gaffney's drumming is unflappable as well, keeping up the time and melodies equally well. Though his kit sounds limited, the amount of sound and diversity he creates certainly isn't.

One of the few criticisms I have of this album's is the integration of Britton's vocals. He sings only on two tracks, and honestly, it's really difficult to tell if they're meant to be sarcastic or serious. There is a playfulness to the album that it really makes me wonder! Britton's voice is unabashedly simple, without much inflection or range. Most "normal" listeners will probably be turned off by it; for me, they drift in to the background. They aren't awful, but I'm not sure they strengthen the album. On the other hand, the lyrics are thoughtful and sensitive, so they get a pass for me.

If you're a fan of Britton's other projects, such as Birds and Buildings, you'll probably find August in the Urals very enjoyable and less intense. It's an approachable piece of symphonic prog for those who enjoy instrumentals most of all, and to be honest it's the record's slow and quite moments that I enjoyed most. That being said, while you can appreciate the artistry within, this album may not resonate with you as much as other works because so much of it's emotion comes from the subtlety of instruments. Still, a worthy purchase from one of the under appreciated artists in the prog community. Recommended!

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 5 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

 Heliotians by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.83 | 63 ratings

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Heliotians
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by AdaCalegorn

5 stars Heliotians

As every project from Dan Briton's mind, Delunge Grander is not exactly a walk in the park. It defiant the listener, emerges as a whole, a gargantuan monster with a life of its own almost in the vein of Gentle Giant's most bizarre works. A sort of misunderstood beauty like Cthulhu's. It grows in you. And as well as with gentle Giant, Delunge Grander is one of those modern acts in prog rock that's clearly underestimated by far. In only three epic tracks, Briton's lead us into his solar world.

Just as the first sunrise of the day, the album 'dawns' with 'Ulterior'in a sort of somber light; soft, almost too thin, but that quickly grows and expand into its own complexity, the bass line drawing the ground while the keyboards and guitars spreads the light all around and a silver voice tries to lead, although despair but beautiful. With slow pace as pinkfloydian as kingcrimsonian marks the whole ambience before it explodes onto symphonic and strenuous with a range of influences from the classic styles a la ELP and Camel to a vigorous Änglagård's style as well as themselves (as Birds & Buildings), fading into a dense acoustic resolution.

'Saruned' works as an interlude. Smooth, light and energetic crosses paths within Genesis and King Crimson, flooding as an announcement of the war ahead. It vibrates over metallic percussion and vocals of ethereal laments. From time to time flirts with a more "new age" sound. But then again, drums saved the day.

On a well too influenced modern (Phieaux, Echolyn, Ayreon...) trace line, 'Reverse Solarity' spreads a multicolored peacock tail, eye's brushed in Zappa's tune and timber. The flight of this bird runs intense in perpetual motion, building a well-orchestrated journey in six movements, merging each into the other's hesitations. For the most, the track is bear by a tireless drums running unsparing almost breathless yet subtle and generous in textures. As in 'Ulterior' the keyboards paints the light in watercolors and push guitars and bass into a more chromatic experience. Flutes and violins poke out here and there balancing the voices in a solid direction. And as in the first track, an acoustic conclusion plagued on classical symphonic shades among a metal-opera female voice, rises with the sun and warming hearts over lovely torrid clouds.

Dan Briton walks back into all his influences and develops a wide winged project that push himself onto another level without forgetting his own trademark of somber still luminous atmospheres. Even when the instrumentations are mostly in vein of the seventies groups, there's an indubitable force from the nowadays, which only enriches further more. There are so few albums in the latter days as symphonic and challenging like this one. Every good progger should give it a listen? or two.

 The Form Of The Good by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 99 ratings

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The Form Of The Good
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by pfloyd

5 stars Dan Briton does it again.

Deluge Grander's second effort "Form of the good" is a brilliant and unique symphonic prog album. I would consider it slightly better than "August In the Urals." The songs seem to vary more with myriads of interesting subtle moments that prog fans love. The style has become more jazzy and avant garde giving it a bit more "flavor" while still keeping what we loved about the first album. Also, the production is much better quality. Basically, the band is just all around better. It is an album you have to be in a certain mood for though, as it is very heavy. You will probably want to take a nap, or rest your ears with some slow jazz after finishing this album.

"Before The common Era" is a great opening track that setups the rest of the album perfectly. An atmospheric piece with some awesome violin to complement the other instruments. "The Tree Factory" is the first epic of the album. There are just so many things happening in this song its hard to wrap your head around it, in a good way. It will take many listens to discover all the details hidden in layers of complexities. "Common Era Caveman" seems like it could be part of the previous song as they are very similar and equally as good, this one is just shorter. Admittedly, they are pretty much the same. "Aggrandizement" is the longest track on the album and features even more diverse elements than "Tree Factory." It is a very chaotic piece that goes through many ups and downs. My personal favorite track. "The Form of the good" Is a bit different from the other tracks. Its somewhat more simple, and ends the album very comfortably.

An improvement over the last album in nearly every way. Despite the lack of vocals, this an essential album, though I am hesitant to label it as a "Masterpiece" (but I have no doubt Deluge Grander is capable of one) . Epic, atmospheric songs with fantastic musicianship and lots of intricate compositions/melodies that flow well into each other. Its a very "meaty" album with no lazy filler songs. Every time i listen to this I discover something new. Compelling from start to finish.

4.5 stars.

 August In The Urals by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 123 ratings

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August In The Urals
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by infandous

4 stars 3 1/2 stars really.

Who would have imagined that there could be anything new and original in the symphonic prog sub-genre? Well, there is, and it's Deluge Grander.

Now, being honest, this is not quite in the category of "like nothing you've ever heard before". It is symph prog after all so the classical music influences lend a somewhat familiar overall sound. But these are mixed in with some fusion, some almost avant textures, and a healthy dose of zeuhl. The music is dense, multi layered, and even when there is repetition, it never really gets boring because the layers build and build, changing the foreground of the music while the background maintains the same structure (more or less). Anyway, that's the best description I can come up with at this point.

The opening epic, is quite a ride, with all sorts of interesting variations, sections, and diversions of themes. We are introduced to the (extremely) baritone vocals here, though they are minimal. While the vocals were a turn off to me on the first few listens, I've come to appreciate them as they are not bad at all. I think that the issue really is that most people are not used to such extremely low register singing. In the case of this track, they fit the mood and feel of the sections they are in perfectly, and so are at their finest here.

Second track, August in the Urals features the most vocals of the whole album, and as such was my least favorite early on. Now, however, I find that I can appreciate them, if not love them on this track. The music itself is somewhat more "conventional" I guess, in that the song has a much more immediately identifiable structure than other songs on the album and seems a bit less dense and "busy" (though towards the end it gets back to this).

Abandoned Mansion Afternoon is quite a good track, again featuring vocals, but a bit less than the previous track.

The last two tracks are completely instrumental and probably still my favorites on the album. The playing is quite good, with some intense flamenco type playing and melodies on the final track making for a quite satisfying conclusion to the album.

Overall, an excellent piece of work, and something interesting in a quite bloated sub-genre. Honestly, I don't think any of this can be compared to other symph prog bands. While there are influences that can be discerned here and there, it really isn't your typical retro prog album, though the instrumentation and approach is more 70's than modern..........though even that statement is not exactly true. A unique work, that I rate at about 3 1/2 stars, the half star being subtracted due to the rather muddy production values. I'll round up for the archives,but I'd say it's not quite a 4 star album.

Anyway, if you want some truly original symphonic prog, this is the place to go.

 August In The Urals by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 123 ratings

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August In The Urals
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars What we have here? A great symphonic album that comes from USA? Yeah, that's right!

Well, I'm not used to listen Symphonic rock albums from USA, so, for me, it's quite a big surprise, specially because it's a very good one!

I've heard about Deluge Grander when I bought my copy of the DVD Romantic Warriors (which, by the way, is a great Prog Rock documentary). And I was really curious, so I started with a copy from their first album, the 2006's August In The Urals.

The man behind the band is Dan Britton (composer, keyboards, vocals and guitars), and maybe the production isn't that great (well, it's the first release from his own label Emkog and independent at the same time), but that don't affect really the overall sound. My only complaint is about the vocals, I do think they're good, a kind of spoken voice style, but they're way far too 'hidden' on background. It should be on front, that would make the music even more relevant.

All in all August In The Urals have some great symphonic passages, keyboard driven (good ones, not that kind of 90's prog rock comeback stolen from Pink Floyd's The Division Beall that I always disliked).

5 tunes on the album, 2 of them with more than 12 minutes long and a big opening track: 'Inaugural Bash' with 26.

Deluge Grander have 2 albums, the second one, 2009's The Form Of The Good I have to pick it up yet, hope they fixed the vocal thing, cause if they did, it's probably a great record.

 August In The Urals by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 123 ratings

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August In The Urals
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Dan Britton tends to be the US equal to Italy's Fabio Zuffanti.He is a man with an esoteric lust for creativity and originality in music,which have lead him to form a number of projects along with his own Emkog label.Dan was a member of Cerebus Effect,where he met founding member drummer Patrick Gaffney,with whom he decided to form a new band,DELUGE GRANDER (a pun on "Delusions of Grandeur'') in Baltimore in 2005.The two musicians were supported by Dave Berggren on guitars and Brett d'Anon on bass.Next year finds the band releasing the 70-min. prog journey ''August in the Urals'' on Britton's own Emkog label.

STYLE: Complicated prog with retro influences to say the least,performed in a very unique and personal way.Five adventuruous cuts ranging from 7 to 27 minutes with very limited vocals,focusing on intricate,complex,tight and challenging musicianship.Britton is a guy with an education both in Jazz and Classical music,a fact taped almost in every composition of the album.Describing the album track by track would be useless,as everyone of them has so many twists,it's almost impossible not to write a sum of over a thousand words for all of them.I will generally that if you want something trully complicated with a sound approaching Classic 70's Prog this is the album for you.Main characteristicts: Dominant and grandiose use of mellotron,trully heavy and dark bass lines,alternating use of keys,a guitarist changing his style from smooth HACKETT-ish playing with jazzy overtones to heavy intricate parts and a style twisting constantly between Symphonic Rock to fast and furious Jazz-Fusion with endless interplays and tightly connected themes.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: Mix 1/3 of classic period smooth GENESIS/YES with the darkness of mid 70's-period KING CRIMSON or early VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR along with the complexity of GENTLE GIANT or the jazzyness of CAMEL.A symphonic side of CEREBUS EFFECT would be quite accurate also.Am I the only one to hear some of early 70's Italian Prog influences also?

PLUS: Of course with so many influences the sound is not 100% original,but this band is definitely unique in their approach.Despite the long tracks,all of them are as tight as they can get with an unstoppable flow and a fast tempo generally.Mellotron sounds tend to almost avant-garde at times and that is original.Jazz-Fusion parts are absolutely fascinating and among the best to be heard in the modern league, I guarantee that. Britton's playing is also awesome,atmospheric mellotron parts give their place to non- boring professional solos and delicate piano passages.The guitar playing is a highlight too,despite to obvious HACKETT-ish influence.One of the most adventuruous releases of modern prog.

MINUS: Vocals are fortunately limited,as they are distorted and could fit more in a Gothic band than a Prog Rock one.A very difficult album which is not for any part of the day.

WILL APPEAL TO: ...anyone without exception!

CONCLUSION/RATING: ''August in the Urals'' is great music experience,which requires numerous repeated listenings to be fully appreciated.One of the top albums of 2006,which dramatically blends Symphonic and Jazz Rock with a hard to desribe atmosphere.Worth its money,purchase at any reasonable price.4 or even 4.5 stars!

 August In The Urals by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 123 ratings

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August In The Urals
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by 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.

 August In The Urals by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 123 ratings

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August In The Urals
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

5 stars Bombastic and pompous, but at the same time sober and intelligent

The first time I heard about DELUGE GRANDER was in 2006 when this USA band was suggested for Symphonic, the first member of the team that listened them was my good friend H.T. Riekels who was really impressed. Being that on those days we had a lot of work, I let it pass for some weeks, but H.T. put a lot of pressure on me not only sending PM's and mails, but also mentioning the band in our daily coordination chats.

The guy was so insistent that I had to buy "August in the Urals" without listening samples just to stop listening him, and even when this is not the Symphonic I was used to, was really impressed with the magnificent, pompous and at the same time elegant sound of the band.

It was clear that the Symphonic structural evolution that started on the 90's in Eastern Europe, had spread all around the world and that we were before a new form of the genre that would bring freshness to the music we grew with, so immediately mailed all the team and the band was added.

This evolution I'm talking about is obvious since the first note, if the 70's pioneers of Symphonic were masters blending Rock and Classical, this guys are making a richer fusion of genres that cross, Jazz, Classical, Avant Garde and everything we can just imagine.

The album opener "Inaugural Bash" is a good example of this tendency, the first couple of minutes they play some sort of Symphonic soft Jazz, but then the change begins, it's not radical as we are used to, but progressive even when not less dramatic. The music slowly morphs from fast and lets say light, to mysterious and haunting, even when the piano is the lead instrument, the organ mix is simply out of this world. As the song advances, we can perceive the influence of such musicians as Rachmaninoff mixed with dark chants and soft choirs.

But "Inaugural Bash" is 25 minutes long, and the band has time to bombard us with Mellotron guitar riffs, trumpet, xylophone and many other instruments, creating wonderful dissonances without loosing the concept of melody, simply brilliant.

"August in the Urals" is absolutely different, more fluid and less mysterious, but this time the interplay between piano and acoustic guitar is simply amazing. The subtle and sometimes vocals even when not in the same level of the music are good enough to keep intact the beauty and complexity of the music This time the changes are really dramatic and unexpected, as we Symphonic freaks enjoy so much.

"Abandoned Mansion Afternoon" again starts jazzy for almost three minutes, but then as in the first track, the soft metamorphosis begins, and after a couple of minutes of guitar and vocal transition we are again before a complex and haunting musical piece with surprises each minute and a frenetic finale.

"A Squirrel" is an incredibly dynamic track, and even when it seems as a jamming session between piano and drums mainly, they manage to transform it into a full blown Prog piece of music with sudden changes and odd timings, play special attention to the organ section around the fourth minute, that leads to a jazzy passage and another dramatic finale, it's specially brilliant.

The album ends with "The Solitude of Miranda", a frantic track that starts with a hint of EMERSON LAKE & PALMER keyboards to change into something hard to explain but easy to enjoy, the speed and accuracy of Dan Britton is impressive, now closer to the style of RICK WAKEMAN; but the combination of soft female and strong male choirs surrounded by Moorish/Flamenco guitar, is the cherry on the top of the pie.

What else can I say about an album that pioneers the Symphonic evolution in USA and that doesn't have a single weak track?...Well maybe that it's 100% essential to understand the music we will be listening in the next years.

Even when I rarely give the maximum rating to a debut album, this time I can't go with less than 5 solid stars, without being unfair.

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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