The band has delivered an excellent album that has something to offer to a broad spectrum of rock fans.
If you don’t like doom music, please keep reading! Lapsus Dei are a band from Chile with a well-established reputation as a doom metal band, with all the usual trappings of long slow dirge-like songs, and the use of growling vocals adding a death metal touch. Listening to their back catalogue, I could only summarise their output as being for lovers of the genre. Don’t get me wrong – I like doom – but Lapsus Dei were producing doom-by-numbers with little chance of it appealing to the broader rock community.
But from the first notes of Falling Apart, it is clear that there is a new direction being set on Sea Of Deep Reflections. For a start Alejandro Giusti is singing with a normal clean voice and what a fantastically good and strong rock voice he has! The song itself quickly builds up to an aggressive riffing section in a typical progressive metal style before fading away with vocals only. It’s fast and energetic and more than enough to grab one’s attention.
Several tracks have more of progressive metal feel, including possibly the best track, the eight minute Naufragos which is characterised by a fierce riff, but there is also good use of piano and synths. It builds up to a climax with a blistering solo from lead guitarist Rodrigo Poblete. That climax happens at the six minute mark and then there’s a wonderfully Floydian closing section that gradually releases the tension. It’s an excellent song and totally unexpected based on the band’s previous musical output.
The general quality of the thematic material is also a big step up compared to previous albums. The irresistible rhythmic metal riff in The Call Of The Sirens is one good example, and in a more restrained way the catchy guitar refrains in The Last Trip and Arrival show that you can create impact without needing to use a battering ram. Sadly, for my taste, the growling reappears in three of the songs in the second part of the album. One of these is Colossal, another with strong progressive elements where synthesisers are very much to the fore.
The song titles and lyrics might appear on the, well…. doomful rather than cheerful side, but the album is a musical journey representing human growth, starting from the angst-ridden Falling Apart where our character doesn’t sound very happy singing ‘I want to drink your madness, Inhale your divine absurd unconsciousness’ (whatever that means!), through to the positive conclusion with Arrival. I’d like to think of this album as also representing the band’s own growth and arrival at a new more mature stage in their career. It may well be that hard-core fans of the band consider this album a sellout, but for me the band has delivered an excellent album that has something to offer to a broad spectrum of rock fans.