I won’t speak for anyone but myself as I found a great love and appreciation for extreme metal because it’s such a rich entanglement to get lost inside of. But every once in a great while an album comes along forcing me to turn introspective. These are the albums that might hurt but are the most rewarding. Délà’s Cruel Words is more than capable of that much-needed catharsis.
Déhà is one of many projects by the prolific Olmo Lipani who’s passion for recording is rivalled by Boris, Acid Mothers Temple, Omar Rodriguez Lopez and the like. Seriously. 28 full album releases since 2018 as well as other active projects including Wolvennest, Aurora Borealis, COAG, Cult of Erinyes, Deos, God Eat God, God Enslavement to name a few.
Sometimes the feeling of pain can only be dealt with by slathering it with the incredible beauty of slipping away to somewhere no one can reach you.
Cruel Words begins with I Am Mine To Break like a wave of pained flashbacks and a slow-paced walk away from something too heavy to take on all at once and in need of an escape that’s completely yours. This problem now is only yours. You feel in control and only you can decide what you allow to destroy you.
You pick up the pace in your escape and you feel so free you close your eyes tightly, running faster and faster until you open your eyes taking in the surroundings. The feeling of being lost somewhere both familiar and foreign. Like a racing heart, Pain Is A Wasteland sounds like your brain making sense of this place. Guitars seem to be strummed randomly and quickly in surgical precision. Vocals come, unlike a faintly remembered conversation with yourself contemplating self reflection. The assurance to hear a crescendo of powerful chords is like a resurgence of power.
Blackness In May starts as a beautiful instrumental until a calm near chanting vocal passage begins to flow like a light surrounding you. There’s a bit of a resistance to being engulfed in all this beauty. But it keeps going and going until post-metal bliss is completely achieved. Screams come to pulverize the harmony, but only enhance the beauty seeming to draw us back home.
Vocals are delivered painfully and powerfully…
Falling back into a feeling of hopelessness, Butterflies begins like a bad memory. Down strummed guitars seal our eyes closed until the light guiding us home is a memory. Wordless vocals with an abysmal feeling strangle all thoughts. Screaming begins to loosen the grip showing a clearing and the grieving process makes you long for how things were. But we’re not quite ready to return yet.
A gorgeous piano begins Dead Butterflies. It sounds lonely and when joined by guitars, the feeling is only amplified. A ten-minute odyssey begins. Why did we leave in the first place? While these thoughts process, a sound like a branch being stepped on and cracking, or a guitar being unplugged gives me a feeling like walking away from a situation of pain. Maybe I’m looking too deeply into it.
Coming towards the forest’s clearing, the near positive sounding tones are mixed with the negative. Like looking at the backyard of your home. Feeling the warmth flowing from the areas of safety but remembering what made you run away in the first place. And knowing the forest will always be there for you to get lost in, allowing you to work out anything.
At the end of Cruel Words, this hour-long ordeal is the opposite of escapism. It’s not an explosion filled stream against some enemy. It’s so much more than that by going deeper and deeper inside. There’s a lot of quiet being woven into genres like harsh noise, sludge, even funeral doom. Vocals are delivered painfully and powerfully I have to imagine Olmo Lipani goes through and ungodly amount of tea and honey. Sometimes all the emotions and genres are suffocating, but the experience is better for it.
Scribed by: Richard Murray