College News review of "Inverted Earth"
"The progressive, instrumental journey on Inverted Earth is worth the ride"
Before I started reviewing music on a regular basis, I admit I was all too enamored of the various lead singers who fronted the groups to whom I listened. After all, sometimes a strong frontman or woman can make all the difference, especially if the surrounding music is only mediocre.
But not these guys. I’d like to introduce you to a group of artists whose music is the embodiment of their selfless collective and could not be mistaken for anything less than sheer musical talent. Say hello to California-based The Deluge. Based on the foundation of Andrew McKee, Matthew O’Rane and Grant Jordan, these experimental instrumentalists are here to impress.
After the promising success of their 2007 self-titled EP, The Deluge are back for more, having dropped their first full-length album, Inverted Earth, in late March. They describe the effort as “a concept album placing the Biblical flood story in modern times.” I’d describe it as a record to immediately place in your music collection.
The pitch-perfect, precisely played violins on the first track “Variations” will have you hooked from the moment you press play. On “The Devil’s Postpile,” the guitars and bass are fast-paced and mesmerizing, but they also serve as a smooth background. Since there are no lyrics to speak of, it’s easy for the songs to blend into each other, but that’s not a complaint. The album feels like a complete journey,not one that starts and stops in multiple melodic locations.
Vocals are sparingly—but effectively—used on Inverted Earth, often there to supplement the existing instrumentation but never distract you from it. With a variety of instruments including the viola, didjeridoo, trumpet and the clarinet amongst many others, you certainly don’t want to be distracted.
Even if you’re not metaphysical enough to fully grasp the album’s story, there’s no question you will be able to appreciate and enjoy the lush tones and melodies The Deluge puts forth. Though the track count may appear low at a mere eight, every track breaks the five minute mark, making for an instrumental epic that successfully merges countless genres and styles.
You can see The Deluge perform next at The Talking Stick in Venice, CA on June 17th or at the Green Door in Hollywood on the 24th. Keep your eyes on their MySpace page for more upcoming shows as well as to stream tracks from Inverted Earth!
Pick up Inverted Earth via iTunes, Amazon or CD Baby and impress your friends with your classy taste.
Chewing Bones - review of "Inverted Earth"
My friend Grant Jordan (God for this analogy), drummer of The Deluge, came to me (Noah) and asked me to write a review (build an ark) about his band’s new album. He also asked me to listen to it first. And so I braved the tempest, a deluge is a flood for those without a dictionary, and sat down to listen to The Deluge’s Inverted Earth.
Knowing the band mates as I do, I was given the inside scoop: the (loose) concept of the album is a flood that wipes out our modern world. While you may have heard a thing or two about floods wiping out the earth, you probably haven’t heard many albums like this one.
The album begins energetically. “Variations” sets the atmosphere of the world. The impression is that of a tragically beautiful world haunted by, if nothing else, the sound of Matthew O'Rane’s viola laid over pulsating drums and ethereal vocals. “Inverted Earth” is the calm before the storm, a slowed down melody that marks the end of the line for the world.
Those opening tracks give way to “The Devil’s Postpile“, a change of pace that is the beginning of the end for modernity. “The Devil’s Postpile", if my facts are correct, will be the single. It is an apt single, displaying exactly what The Deluge has to offer: beautiful instrumentation, a hypnotic and soothing sound, and the ability to switch gears seamlessly. The song leads in with viola as the focal point and then a brief interlude of horns followed by vocals, guitar and then back to viola. The song is anchored by the bass and drums, allowing moments for the other instruments to break through.
“For forty days and forty nights….”
The flood continues on "Raindrop Matrices", "Liquid 7th", and "Undulations", my favorite song on the album. O’Rane’s frantic viola eventually bleeds into a smooth transition. "Undulations" makes use of an up tempo drum section that sounds like something from an Aphex Twin song. The viola raises the song to new heights but Jordan’s electronic-influenced drums, and some handy synth work, keep it centered.
The final two tracks, I hypothesized, represent the growth after the storm, once the water recedes. “Root” builds and builds until the clarinet takes firm hold of the composition, nestling it back into a solid melody that is followed by the final track, "Waterfalls."
I found myself searching for similar music, listening to different progressive rock, jazz rock/fusion and electronica before giving up altogether. The closest I came to finding a similar sound was Weather Report, but they were too jazz-like to be in the exact genre of The Deluge. Giving up, I called Mr. Jordan who was as perplexed as I was to find a name for The Deluge’s sound. He did, however, reinforce a few of the similar bands I mentioned.
Classification aside, the album is a wonderful listen. Though I feel it is an album to be sat and listened to, a practice that has become scarce these days, I found myself playing Devil’s Postpile and Undulations over and over again by themselves. Andrew Mckee, Matthew O’Rane and Grant Jordan wrote all the compositions on the album with Mckee and O’Rane playing several instruments throughout. The album will be available on itunes in the very near future, but in the meantime, you can find the band at http://www.myspace.com/thedelugemusic. Be fruitful and multiply!
Cori's Notes - review of The Deluge LIVE @ Java the Hutt 03/13/10
As I was making my way down to the basement towards the University of Redlands' infamous Java the Hutt on Saturday night, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. All I knew was that simply listening to this music was sensational, and that was more than enough to get me out the door. I watched as people of all types came together to fill a space no bigger than a classroom to catch the first glimpse of the group's new music. I would soon realize that having the opportunity to watch them portray their music to its full (and obscure) potential was an adventure on its own! Similar to that of the Mad Hatter's tea party,which was depicted in a vibrant mural behind them, The Deluge displayed a stellar variation of sights and sounds for the release of their new album "Inverted Earth".
The Deluge performs with an erratic style on an instrumental and electronic sound. Unusual tools like the didgeridoo and a homemade wind tunnel gave the group's sound an innovative approach on an edgier type of "world music" and kept me hooked as I watched live. "Inverted Earth" was a very moody experience - one second I felt mellow, the nextI was completely overturn by a blast of heavy percussion, irregular tempo, or the harmony of intertwined voices. As you glance into the audience, you saw some people following sounds from one side of the stage to the next, some moving to the beat and others simply closing their eyes and allowing the melody to soak in. No matter what you came there for, you were about to take home much more than you anticipated.
Each of them well practiced musicians, with every second of their 10+ minute songs perfectly timed, you couldn't help but be impressed! Their individual styles blended impeccably to form one movement unlike any I had seen before. The Deluge brings back the timelessness of classical music, with a refreshing kick of rhythm and an extraordinary flair for composition. They brought 11+ instruments to the stage and made everyone believe that none of them should ever be played separately again. Watching them perform "Inverted Earth", I knew it was something they wanted their audience to indulge themselves in. And, if you're like me, you're going to ask for seconds.