Spectrum of Delusion
Neoconception

Around three years ago I reviewed this amazing progressive technical death metal band from Amsterdam.  I was absolutely floored by their debut album Esoteric Entity.

The band’s second album, Neoconception is a concept album revolving around an asteroid hitting earth. “Downfall” opens things up and the madness begins.  If you are not familiar with Spectrum of Delusion, they are all over the place and really use two guitars and a bass all as lead instruments.   Bassist Jerry Waker is fretless guru and the attention to detail between him and guitarists Nathan Bonkerk and Frank Van Rijswijk is quite entertaining to listen to for this forty-four minute second full-length album.  It takes until about halfway through the second track to get to some fantastic vocal lines from Douwe Negenman.   Having been together since 2013 these cats have really worked on harnessing the maturation of their sound and each track is incredibly well laid out.

“Pointless Endeavour” opens with continued excellent bass work from Mr. Waker.  Neoconception is by no means the fastest album.  There are moments of faster parts, but I would say this one is not as blistering as the debut, but I do not believe that is necessary what they are going for.  If you are into the sounds of bands like Augury, Beyond Creation, mixed with some flurries like a Spawn of Possession or Cryptopsy or First Fragment then this might be the right band for you to check out.  “Torment of Being” is another example of the Spectrum of Delusion unbelievable sense of Melody and harmony.  I am a bit bummed there are no saxophone breaks on this album like the last one.  I must give drummer Jeroen Mostert some credit here for being able to keep these arrangements in time and being able to follow the string section.

“Welcome Death” has a nice stripped-down intro that builds nicely into one of my favorite rhythms in the song.   Negenmen’s vocals are all over the place on this and if anything has improved a great deal from last album are his vocals.   Seriously, there are times on this track where he sounded like a deranged brutal Muppet.  The two songs with videos are back to back “Await the Transition” and “Into Another Formation”.  I recommend watching both as the are quite entertaining.  “Into Another Formation” is my favorite song the album and is one of the longer tracks.

“Bringing Serenity” had me wonder if I was listening to Spectrum of Delusion or Skid Row as I think this track might be in a similar key to “I Remember You”.   Listen to it and let me know what you think.  This is not a knock but a preference in sound.  It sounds like Spectrum of Delusion like to write some stuff in a major key.  Nothing wrong with that just may strike some listeners a bit.   It works and these guys are completely on their own level. 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year to keep up on for technical death metal and Neoconception will wind up on my best of list and I look forward to hearing what these guys come up with next.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
October 8th, 2020

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