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DELUSION SQUARED

Crossover Prog • France


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Delusion Squared biography
French prog trio Delusion Squared comprises of lead vocalist and guitarist, Lorraine Young, guitarist, keyboard and drummer - Steven Francis and bassist/keyboardist - Emmanuel de Saint Meen. Their debut release embraces many elements to their music which crosses a few genres. There are hints of metal & eclectic, but mainly crossover characteristics. Their first album release benefits from a slick production and carries a great sci fi theme making it an interesting conceptual work.A promising new artist worth listening to and keeping an eye on.

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Final DelusionFinal Delusion
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$8.88
$17.22 (used)
IIII
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$9.14
$4.86 (used)
Delusion SquaredDelusion Squared
CD BABY.COM/INDYS 2010
Audio CD$10.27
$73.04 (used)
Final Delusion by Delusion Squared [Music CD]Final Delusion by Delusion Squared [Music CD]
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DELUSION SQUARED top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 116 ratings
Delusion Squared
2010
3.90 | 128 ratings
II
2012
3.64 | 37 ratings
The Final Delusion
2014

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DELUSION SQUARED Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Final Delusion by DELUSION SQUARED album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.64 | 37 ratings

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The Final Delusion
Delusion Squared Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars 3½ stars really. DELUSION SQUARED is a French trio consisting of Lorraine Young (vocals, acoustic guitars), Steve Francis (guitars, drums) and Emmanuel de Saint Méen (bass, keyboards). I was kindly asked to review this new album that finishes a trilogy. Crossover Prog with female vocals is something I can easily warm up to, and listening to some YouTube clips convinced me I would most likely enjoy their music.

The 73-minute, 13-track conceptual album is divided into four sections: Ordeal, Awareness, Deliverance and Surrender. At first the music sounds like slightly hard-edged, commercially oriented mainstream pop (up to Lorraine's voice), except that the energetic opening instrumental - distantly reminiscent of synth-era RUSH - wouldn't be completely out of place on an IQ album for instance. During the fast track 'Diaspora' my spouse came home and wondered which pop/rock radio channel I was listening to (against my habits!). That's revealing about the sound, but to my relief the sense of blunt consumer pop decreases notably on the course of the album. This is helped by bringing in some softer nuances and acoustic elements. However the overall production could be less tight and poppy, as we're speaking of a prog album after all.

Some rather annoying effects (machine beeps, spoken words, etc.) are placed between some songs. These may be carefully thought up to support the concept; too bad I actually fail to form any coherent "story" in my mind. Listeners familiar with earlier parts of the trilogy probably are better on the map in the first place. My personal musical highlights include the atmospheric 'Last Day of Sun', the calm 'By the Lake (Dying)' and the sorrowful second instrumental 'Persistence of Vision'. In other words, I prefer the more delicate side with acoustic guitars and moody synth layers, moments where e.g. PINK FLOYD and MARILLION are closer comparisons than the pop you hear in fast food restaurants. Anyway, I believe this album (or preferably the trilogy as a whole) is a grower when one gets deeper into it in various levels.

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 The Final Delusion by DELUSION SQUARED album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.64 | 37 ratings

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The Final Delusion
Delusion Squared Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars The third Delusion Squared album, `The Final Delusion', will hopefully be anything but that, as the French three piece offer their most fulfilling, varied and exciting album to date and have so much more promise to build on from here! The band, led by the distinctive and charmingly accented Lorraine Young (singing in her best English so far), alongside Steven Francis (guitars, drums) and Emmanuel de Saint Méen (bass, keyboards), offer a mix of contrasting acoustic and electric passages, punchy and sleek Rush-style heavy prog, Porcupine Tree-like emotional acoustic flavours, the sombre gloom of Paatos and a dash of introspective indie pop, with the emphasis on melodic vocal driven songs and only carefully tightly framed instrumental moments. The band will likely appeal most to fans of the more modern takes on progressive music, as there's very little vintage or retro influenced sounds throughout.

The ideas behind this concept work are certainly a lot to dwell on and ponder. Mind-control, gene experimentation, torture, modern warfare and mental manipulation all feature, with frequently dreamy and surreal lyrics that move backwards and forwards through different time frames. Even with little moments of bridging interludes of conversations between and during tracks, following the story can be quite confusing, and the CD booklet only offers help in the form of some cryptic leaked (and I'm assuming mock?!) government documents. I hope I've been able to grasp the basics of the concept of the album, otherwise the guys and gal of Delusion Squared are welcome to contact me and set the record straight!

Immediate attention must go to Lorraine's shrieking gasp over a battery of storming drums that opens the first proper track `Diaspora', it instantly makes you sit up and take notice, wondering `What are we getting into here?!', as well as showing off the confidence of the band. Nice soaring chorus on that one too! Lorraine also supplies plentiful delicate acoustic guitar throughout the disc, full of warmth in even the most melancholic moments. There are nice varied electric guitar approaches and reflective piano throughout `Reason of State', beautiful use of feedback-drenched electric wailing and distorted synth on `Devil Inside'. `Finally Free' sees the acoustic and electric guitars racing alongside each other in a late Porcupine Tree manner, some hazy ambience throughout the ethereal synths of `Last Day of Sun', and the mix of lilting acoustic guitar and orchestration on `By The Lake (Dying)' is impossibly heartfelt. Thick snarling metal tears through `Oblivion for My Sin'. You also get driving instrumentals like album opener `The Same River Thrice', full of heavy riffs, constant powerful drumbeats and pulsing Neo prog influenced synths, `Persistence of Vision' instead builds atmosphere by way of Post-rock chiming guitars and thick murky bass. `Deus in Machina' closes the album with soaring orchestration, victorious guitar soloing and a rising vocal that displays defiant human spirit and true heart.

Without a doubt, thirteen tracks is probably far too many, and several of the pieces have quite a similar sound. However, once you become more familiar with the whole album, it has a great flow and you won't notice the lengthy running time so much. Some will find Lorraine's thick accent difficult, but I think she has real character and great spirit. Fans of the later Porcupine Tree albums and modern female fronted prog bands should look into Delusion Squared right away, and in some ways, the group are a much deeper and more complex version of acts such as Touchstone and The Reasoning, maybe even a gutsier, less vintage based Magenta. `The Final Delusion' is a triumph for melodic vocal driven modern prog that places emotion, melody and subtlety over flashy extended bloated soloing, and the trio should be immensely proud of their efforts here.

Four stars.

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 The Final Delusion by DELUSION SQUARED album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.64 | 37 ratings

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The Final Delusion
Delusion Squared Crossover Prog

Review by ventilo35

5 stars Unless I am mistaken, with this "Final Delusion", Delusion Squared have delivered the first ever concept-album trilogy! This is no small feat, considering the sum of efforts required to combine music and lyrics in a consistent story, even for "just" one LP...

Here we have the third installment of the "Delusion Squared" story, and its somber conclusion. Warning spoilers ahead! The first two albums get a new dimension when we understand that the heroine is actually subjected to evil military science experiments, much in the way of the movie Minority Report. (If my understanding is correct) both albums depict such experiments, where the girl endures prescience visions of surreal futures. In the third one, things go faster, as the tormentors get her to have a reliable flash of the future, even though she will lose her mind in the process (hence the whole "Delusion Squared" ?)

Musically this is a delight, Delusion Squared have a very distinct sound (for instance acoustic guitar riffs are very recognizable, as are the synth pads and some bass lines) and it is a pleasure to be immersed back in these rich, complex compositions. They are highly melodic, even though some complex rythmic patterns can be spotted here and there ? "Finally Free" is a great example, with the bass, drums and guitars playing seemingly desynchronized tracks, resulting in a strange groove. The albums alternates between high on energy tracks ("The Same River Thrice", instrumental opening tracks sporting a lenghty guitar solo, "Diaspora" dominated by brassy synths, "Finally Free" which sports a very nice electro bridge, "Oblivion for my Sin" very powerful, with some arabic accents), evocative ballads ("Reason of State" with poignant lyrics and a beautiful guitar solo, "Last Day Of Sun" a down tempo piece reminiscent of some Porcupine Tree tracks, "Prisoner's Dilemma" which is a somber ballad, "Black Waters" probably the best moment of the album, "Deus in Machina" has lyrics which connect nicely to the beginning of the first album ! The whole thing is looped I think... clever), and complex, multifaceted progressive tracks ("Patient Zero" which is a slow progression from accoustic+intimate voice to an epic, metal ending ; "Devil Inside" with a classical prog overture followed by a tense but restrained period, then some cinematic sounds and finally a quasi-medieval instrumental interlude!)

The production is very good, better than the first album, on par with the second one, with a mellower sound, very well balanced. The digipack offers a 12 pages leaflet with lyrics and a nicely done "Top Secret" military document excerpt where some words have been censored... I wish they do a tee with that ^^

This is definitely a grower, as were the previous opus, highly recommended!

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 Delusion Squared by DELUSION SQUARED album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.91 | 116 ratings

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Delusion Squared
Delusion Squared Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Things rolled quite fast for Delusion Squared, a French trio found in 2009 by multi-instrumentalists Steven Francis and Emmanuel de Saint Meen and female singer/acoustic guitarist Lorraine Young, determined to make an impact in the prog world.In September 2010 the group launched a self-titled debut CD, released as a private self-production.It unfolds around a concept story about a young woman, living in a post-nuclear technological world, where she decided to give birth to her baby naturally, disregarding the current gene rules and at the end found guilty of gene piracy.

Musically the album is divided into four sections, strictly connected to the concept story, where the modern approach of Delusion Squared changes between smoother and heavier moments, depending on the needed mood and flirting with the likes of PORCUPINE TREE, IOEARTH or FREQUENCY DRIFT.The first two sections of the album seem to be the more balanced and pleasant.The tracks have a great atmosphere, based on Lorraine Young sensitive vocals and the compositions are well-crafted with very good rhythmic electric guitars, a fair dose of acoustic passages, while the slight guitar distortions and the use of electronics and synthesizers make the sound richer and even more attractive.The closing two sections are significantly softer, obviously inspired by the storyline of the concept, but get dangerously calm compated to the first half of the album.These tracks recall the most mellow moments of KARNATAKA or PAATOS, sounding more melodic, but lacking the great energy of the opening ones.Too much acoustic material and too much piano with very limited electric moments, but they still sound pleasant with some fantastic instrumental parts contained.

Delusion Squared's debut leaves great promises for the future.A talented modern Prog trio with interesting ideas, both regarding their music and their concept stories, in need of finding a slightly more balanced sound.Warmly recommended.

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 II by DELUSION SQUARED album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 128 ratings

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II
Delusion Squared Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars French trio DELUSION SQUARED was formed in 2009, and made their debut with a self-titled CD in 2010. "II" is their second full length production, and was also released by the band itself, in February 2012.

With "II" Delusion Squared concludes the story cycle they started to explore on their debut album in a fine manner, the story and music both maintaining the high quality of their first CD. Existing fans should be satisfied quite nicely with this production, and to those not familiar with this band, I'd recommend lending an ear or two to it if you tend to like bands like Porcupine Tree or tend to find artists described as modern art rock to be to your liking.

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 II by DELUSION SQUARED album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 128 ratings

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II
Delusion Squared Crossover Prog

Review by Salignac

5 stars The first album from Brittany based Delusion squared emerged in 2010 and impressed immediately on several fronts. It was a deeply involving concept album with a strong sci- fi/ecological theme, pitting the power of Mother nature against the evils of modern technology. The trio's music sounded mysterious and ethereal, recalling nothing less than a female fronted Porcupine tree. All those key ingredients are back for album N°2, which is a sequel to their debut. Divided into four distincts parts, II is endearingly meandering and highly complex. Lorraine Young's rich vocals are counterbalanced by Steve Francis's brutal guitar riffs and Emmanuel de Saint Méen's hypnotic keyboard pulses. A mesmerising record ! With a decent producer Delusion squared could become one of prog's all time greats.

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 II by DELUSION SQUARED album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 128 ratings

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II
Delusion Squared Crossover Prog

Review by bernfoot

5 stars The Joy of progressive music is the never-ending opportunities for exploration and experimentation - the idea that music should make an attempt to break boundaries rather than be restricted by them. Delusion Squared delicately blend neo-progressive elements with a sci-fi concept that will intrigue the mind. Willowy singer Lorraine Young's soft, dainty vocals are juxtaposed with a spacey synth and chunky metallic riffs, all combining to create a stirring and memorable concept album. Opener "Double Vision" begins with a mellow yet eerie acoustic guitar introduction, before being brought to life by a tinkling synt an almost alternative rock-style bank of guitars. "Necrogenesis" on the other hand is a much more psychedelic and trippy experience where Young's vocals shine and collide withe the edgier harshness of the guitar and drums. "Revelation" touches upon the more driven musical themes of progressive metal, and brings with it a Tool-like quality, wich, when married together with the fragile feminine vocals, is a strikink collision of style. "II" is a remarkable concept and one which will stick in your mind for long after its songs have ended.

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 II by DELUSION SQUARED album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 128 ratings

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II
Delusion Squared Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'II' - Delusion Squared (8/10)

Though I cannot say I was one of the lucky few to discover DELUSION SQUARED upon the release of their debut in 2010, I was at least made aware of the band through a healthy buzz about this French act's promising sound. Although female-fronted prog and metal bands seem to come wholesale nowadays, DELUSION SQUARED offers listeners an exciting and distinctly modern take on prog that builds upon the success of their first. Blending the strange with the accessible, 'Delusion Squared II' has left me wanting more from the trio.

DELUSION SQUARED does not innovate an entirely 'new' sound in prog rock, but they are eclectic and distinct enough to make them difficult to concisely describe. The songwriting is dominated by Lorraine Young's highly melodic vocals, yet- in opposition to the majority of prog rock-related bands who go down that route- there is no sense of them pursuing an AOR, or 'tame rock' sound with their music. Young's vocals have a pretty sound to them that might not sound out of place on an indie pop LP, but the music is constantly morphing into new exciting shapes. With that in mind, I may describe DELUSION SQUARED as a band defined by an uneasy balance; a balance between catchy vocal hooks and schizoid songwriting, between its electro-ambient soundscaping and quasi-metal riffing, its frightening sonic density and stunning melodies.

The highlight of 'II' is certainly Lorraine's voice; it sounds angelic, and above all, distinctive. Far too often, I find that female voices in prog rock and metal tend to fall into a generic category. Aided in small part due to her cute French accent, Lorraine Young carries a charm with her powerful vocal delivery. The instrumentation by comparison is quite challenging, and- as previously mentioned- is constantly changing up its pace, even transcending the boundaries of style. Within a single song, listeners may expect to hear everything from metal, to ambient, to pop and vintage-inspired prog rock. With musical ideas being tossed around wildly, it becomes difficult to pinpoint particular songs as 'highlights', although the mini-epic 'Necrogenesis' and the tender 'Naked Solipsism' stand out for their stirring melodies. For all of their ambition however, DELUSION SQUARED's production feels the strain of so much activity. Although it may simply be that Lorraine's vocals are mixed a touch too highly, the instruments occasionally feel drowned out by one another, although in a sense this only serves to emphasize how textured the band's sound can get. Suffice, DELUSION SQUARED are one of my favourite discoveries so far of the year. They are are wonderful demonstration of what prog rock can do even almost half a century after its birth.

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 II by DELUSION SQUARED album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 128 ratings

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II
Delusion Squared Crossover Prog

Review by Richens

5 stars The first time I heard this album in its entirety and immediately jumped onto progarchives and awarded it five stars without hesitation. After a few days of listening to Delusion Squared I and II virtually non-stop, I maintain my initial rating and more so!

Where the first album maintained an ethereal and atmospheric approach that worked well with the vocal abilities of Lorraine Young, the second album takes that ethereal approach and adds a slick and jarring edge of synthesised keyboards and heavy melodic guitar riffs. The sound is immediate and effective and shows hugely impressive development and progression from the first album.

Stand-out tracks are for me.......well.......all of them really. The whole album is outstanding. There is not a weak track on here. It is very rare that an album is released that is so overwhelmingly powerful and consistent. Before I heard this album, one of my favourite releases of this year was the Touchstone album 'The City Sleeps'. The female-fronted formula is also very similar, but to me the Delusion Squared approach betters the Touchstone album with a more sustained and consistent dose of progressive and innovative melody. Trust me, this is an immense album, a fantastic album and I hope they continue along this line of musical development. Un triomphe Delusion Squared. Remarquable!

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 II by DELUSION SQUARED album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 128 ratings

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II
Delusion Squared Crossover Prog

Review by Hector1966

5 stars If the music business was anything like it was before the digital rape that is now, new talent scouts would be scrambling over one another to sign this band as the new Rush, Porcupine Tree or Evanescence. Delusion Squared II follows up with equal greatness to their fantastic debut album Delusion Squared from 2010. How three people can put together the level of talent that is on these recordings is truly impressive. Steve Francis and Emmanuel de Saint Meen sure can play - multitalented to say the least on electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, piano all playing together or as a beautiful solo instrument. All this topped off by the hauntingly lovely Dido-esque voice of Loraine Young who could easily be a prog nerd's new fantasy girl.

Delusion Squared II captures the modern prog sound with crossover appeal to pop and metal fans that is gaining popularity these days. We once again have a deep concept album about a post-apocalypse world that should please the true progheads, but the four movements and 9 songs stand well alone for the itunes crowd. The production is top notch on the level of Steve Wilson or Arjen Lucasson (Ayreon) quality. Delusion Squared II proves that this is the best new prog band to come out in the last two years. If this band can ever play live, get them to NEARfest(?) or Rosfest ASAP.

Best album of 2012 ??? - we shall see...

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Thanks to chris s for the artist addition.

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