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Delta - "Deny Humanity" (CD)

Delta - "Deny Humanity" CD cover image

"Deny Humanity" track listing:

1. Fatal Error
2. Over and Over Again
3. Revolution
4. Desire Within
5. Doors Keep Spinning
6. Perfect Insanity
7. Fragile
8. 2702
9. Virtual Life
10. God or Science
11. The Human Touch

Reviewed by on November 4, 2011

"The band's constantly-on-the-edge-of-exploding style comes across warmly on this record and hints at a lengthy career in progressive metal."

South America loves prog metal, and is full of prog bands. This is as much a fact of life as the fact that Dream Theater wields an inescapable influence over every one of them. That being said, the plurality between the South American bands at least makes them interesting evolutions, if not mostly derivative. Thankfully, Chilean band Delta comes into their orbit only occasionally.

The opening symphonic instrumental intro to the fourth full-length album, "Deny Humanity," feels almost like the music to a militaristic Sci-Fi movie, and probably would fit something like “Starship Troopers.” This unorthodox intro is quite refreshing for progressive metal, and this is also the only symphonic bit on the record. "Over and Over Again" beats its rhythms out and comes in swooping like a dive-bomber of a song, dropping a multi-layered chorus of vocals after a swift Moog keyboard solo. The only element that feels out of place here is the tone of the vocalist, Felipe del Valle.

Felipe del Valle has a quality to his vocals that immediately recalls Geddy Lee -- either it will grow on you or it won't. Not to take away from his palate of expression or his considerable range, which are definitely evident, but his vocals are overpoweringly nasal. At times, it can get a bit comical, but it's nice when he layers himself with four or five harmonies. The lyrics are another questionable element, but are tongue-in-cheek and fun as well. "Are we too much for you? (group shout) YES WE ARE! Are you just too blind to see we rock?"

"Revolution" contains a huge headbanger of a riff for its main line, and is a strong point on the album, as well as the giant "Doors Keep Spinning," of which the band has recorded a studio music video showcasing its strong points. "Virtual Life" has ominous keyboards and very luscious choral vocal arrangements mirroring Queen and Symphony X in their execution and style. Guitarist Benjamin Lechuga and keyboardist Nicolas Quinteros both get to show off here. It should be noted that Lechuga's skills got him an Ibanez endorsement at age 17 and a scholarship from guitar legend Steve Vai.

Throughout the album, the rhythm foundation of drummer Andres Rojas and bassist Marcos Sanchez provides just the right amount of groove and force to take the album above par. The production is also noticeably kind to both of them, which is a major point. Many good bands have been kept from shining by a lifeless mixing job, making the drums seem programmed and the bass sound like a guitar.

"God or Science" and "Human Touch" both approach Anubis Gate-esque vocal lines and even a Stratovarius influence, which is not too surprising, given that the band has opened for the likes of Stratovarius, Symphony X, Edguy, and Sonata Arctica. The group was even chosen by Mike Portnoy to open for Dream Theater. The band's constantly-on-the-edge-of-exploding style comes across warmly on this record and hints at a lengthy career in progressive metal. Now, if only the vocals weren't so polarizing...

Highs: "Doors Keep Spinning," "Over and Over Again," "Revolution," and "Virtual Life"

Lows: Overpowering nasal vocals, occasional cheesy keyboards

Bottom line: A rock-solid hunk of prog metal with most of its elements in balance.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)