October 9, 2022

Delvoid is a rather marvellous and most intriguing rock band from Oslo, Norway with Swarmlife being the band’s third album following on from Delve which was released in 2011 and Serene in 2015. Previously unknown to me, I’ve since had a quick listen to the band’s first two albums which show an alt-rock band playing genuinely moving, sprawling and intense music similar in style to bands like Mogwai and both records are well worthy of further and repeated investigation.

It’s been 7-years since Serene came out and the band has changed direction a little with a move away from the dense, intoxicating soundscapes and Swarmlife sees the band starting to experiment with progressive metal but being Norwegian then there has to be a darker, deeper and certainly more cerebral edge to the sound. For sure, the huge cinematic themes remain as does the intricate playing plus the sprawling and all-encompassing sound with the band fusing prog metal with elements of space rock as well as retaining a core alt-rock heart. Try to imagine a perfect mixture of Leprous, Haken and Pain Of Salvation with the Ozric Tentacles and all with the atmospheric intensity and passion that John Murphy imbued the haunting 28 Theme with (from the film 28 Days Later).

The album features just the 6-tracks, but these are all long, drawn out affairs on which the band bares their collective souls and infuse so much energy, passion and even rage that it leaves you exhausted and totally drained. Each track slowly builds up to a crescendo that crashes around you breaking the inevitable tension that it builds in a cataclysmic explosion of energy. Alex M Delver supplies the amazing and heartfelt vocals that are so key to the album, and he shares guitar too with Erik J Halbakken who plays lead as well as backing vocals with bass and backing vocals from Magnus Anderson and Espen Th. Granseth is outstanding on drums, percussion, vibraphone and backing vocals too. There is an almost telepathic understanding between the musicians so much so that they feed off each other making this a true band in total harmony without egos or excessive individualism. The guitars are stunning laying down a veritable wall of sound with riffs that boil and churn giving an almost psychedelic feel to the proceedings as each song burns into your brain.

If you like your progressive rock to be a little more dark, complex and charged with real passion and energy then you really should give Delvoid a listen as this band just could be the next big thing.

Swarmlife

  1. Techtree (10:01)
  2. Urras (7:39)
  3. Out of Labour (10:31)
  4. Collapsist (10:19)
  5. Third Body (7:42)
  6. The Master’s House (13:14)