Each recordings of “Amulet” have been launched collectively final 12 months as a single to commemorate the earlier incarnation of Deliluh and introduce the brand new one. On Fault Traces, that skin-shedding course of kicks into excessive gear. However whereas tracks like “Credence (Ash within the Winds of Cause)” and “Syndicate II” match snugly into the band’s earlier guitar-driven repertoire (to not point out this present period of peak post-punk), Deliluh are the uncommon band that may summon the menacing propulsion and imagistic density of the Fall with out resorting to Mark E. Smith pantomime-uh. In lieu of hectored invectives, Knapp makes use of his unnervingly calm voice to worm his means into the tormented psyches of his protagonists, like when he catalogs the abuses of the church on “Credence” via the eyes of a presumably complicit priest nervously awaiting judgment day.
However the place “Credence” and “Syndicate II” yield the sorts of incremental sonic evolutions (spine-tingling piano gildings on the previous, a theatrical gang-vocal breakdown on the latter) that might’ve counted as main breakthroughs within the band’s pre-2020 iteration, on Fault Traces, these songs operate extra as last-gasp purges that unlock Deliluh to desert rock music altogether. The album begins with “Memorial,” a serene but stressed ambient piece over which Knapp delivers a solemn funeral prayer (“When the sunshine of the land has perished/Ship me out to sea”) that would additionally double as final rites for the band Deliluh as soon as have been. It’s instantly answered by the calamitous “Physique and Soul,” the place Knapp and Pedersen showcase their new strategies of bringing the noise, via a beatless industrial hellscape of incessant alarm-bell clamor, anvil-crushing chords, and squealing saxophone that feels like a wounded animal begging to be put out of its distress.
By the point we attain the closing “Mirror of Hope,” Deliluh have develop into an apparition of their former selves. Reciting a poem a couple of prepare conductor misplaced in her personal ideas, presumably on the exact second of an impending crash, Knapp intones: “She just isn’t gliding towards her vacation spot/That is her future, that is her chariot, that is her kingdom.” And for the following six minutes, Deliluh lay declare to a promised land of their very own via an beautiful free-floating synthphony streaked with windswept woodwinds and tear-jerking strings. Again once they have been nonetheless holding reveals of their lounge, Knapp and Pedersen christened their ad-hoc venue Someplace Else, to indicate a protected area liberated from the enterprise calls for, programming limitations, and hot-headed bouncers of a typical bar operation. A number of years and 4,000 miles faraway from these DIY halcyon days, that identify nonetheless capabilities as a mission assertion—geographically, musically, and spiritually.