Review: Warlung ‘Optical Delusions’

This is what’s called a big astonishment and being taken aback. The first two albums from these Americans were already energising, but Warlung, have taken another giant step and this time, sound more relaxed and made the ride more dimensional than ever on Optical Delusions.  Its almost like Selim Lemouchi has returned, and this time, not in The Netherlands, with his soul mate and sister-in-crime Farida Lemouchi, but in America with some ritually psyched souls and a vision akin to the UK’s Uncle Acid & The Dead Beats.

Warlung 'Optical Delusions'

So, if the first single, Phantasmagoria, is still rocking in phantasm, the guys from Houston, Texas play themselves a little in a daze with every following song, the gripping melodies, and memorable passages, will put a smile on their faces and send shivers down the spine of every listener. 

This is followed by the slightly doomy The Scorpion In The Sun, and then the almost Thin Lizzy/Wishbone Ash number Snake Eyes with fantastic twin leads, before the outstanding Sun Eater and Order Of The Solar Temple greet us with a nod to the 70s psychedelic and progressive legends.  Approaching the end with the crisp and driving Hell On Earth, the slow rocking Devil’s Game and finally No Man’s Land with its captivating movements to finish the ride, but once you’re at the journey’s end, you’ll want to explore it many more times.

In less than forty minutes, Warlung hold firm with clearly-presented melodies and riff-led rhythms, no matter where they seem to go in mood or otherwise, the listener end up in a different landscape from which they started, still grounded, but changed nonetheless.

Optical Delusions is another strong album displaying the tension between doom, heavy and hard rock soaked with energy and spirit…

In terms of songwriting, it treads a similar path to Immortal Portal, and their 2017 debut, Sleepwalker, establishing their growing sound and the fascinating way they create these compositions, as no matter with which track you start listening to on this record, an immediate attachment to the total atmosphere can be felt. Even after few listens, all those enthralling and adrenaline rush passages will keep on coming back to you, only for you then to play them many more times, but louder than before.

With the deep-toned bass beneath and the solid punctuation of the drums, production wise they’re able to construct a fluidity that coincides with their dynamic changes in volume and enhancing the experience of hearing, either  individual songs or the album as a whole.

Luca Solo Macello, aka Solo Macello, probably one of the most revered visionaries in retroscape, envisioned the cover art and looking at it deeply, will give the initial visual about Phantasmagoria, depicting a man either haunted by a phantom, or suffering from a weird case of optical delusion absolutely encapsulates the artist prowess.

With that, Warlung’s third full-length Optical Delusions is another strong album displaying the tension between doom, heavy and hard rock soaked with energy and spirit that will be release this Friday, 9th October, via Heavy Psych Sounds, along with the labels reissues of their first two albums Immortal Portal and Sleepwalker.

Label: Heavy Psych Sounds
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: Randolph Whateley