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'Deus Ex Machina'
(Metal Blade Records)

jools green

Jools Green


Poland's Vesania are the symphonic black Metal act that are sadly, better recognised as the band that features current and former members of Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Vader and Decapitated, despite having been in existence long before Orion's involvement with Behemoth.

Formed in 1997, 'Deus Ex Machina' is their fourth full length, the first three came in rapid succession but band members other musical involvements have meant a seven year gap since the superb 2007 offering, 'Distractive Killusions'.

So has it been the worth the wait? I think so. They haven't gone for a 'Distractive Killusions' remake, 'Deus Ex Machina' feels darker and also more mature. There are still the "dark spooky fairground" keyboard elements that made 'Distractive Killusions' so weirdly unique, happily, this element has been expanded upon.

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'Deus Ex Machina' is also an album that demands repeated listens to truly get the feel of it; it's a complex listen.

The band explain that: "There's no specific lyrical concept to 'Deus Ex Machina', but there's a deliberate thread running from the title through the music, the title being a term from ancient Greek tragedy and translates to "god from the machine". The idea, a machine, would lower an actor playing god onto the stage to solve the seemingly unsolvable conflict in the plot.

"In modern terms this has evolved to refer to a cheap solution in a poorly written script or novel. Another angle is that 'Deus Ex Machina' is a call for any kind of help or intervention because all of the lyrics on the album reflect hopelessness and show characters in situations that leaves them powerless, with one track telling of the lowering of an actor, supposedly the god, onto a stage before a corrupted man searching for answers but that actor is lowered by a noose around their neck, having already died, painting a drab picture, particularly when paired with equally bleak music."


'Deus Ex Machina' is a sizable album at ten tracks and fifty one minutes and it is a great listen across it's duration but there are a few standout tracks for me beginning with 'Halflight', a superb album opener. It's the perfect mix of symphonics and black Metal making it theatrical yet dark.

I have always liked haunting dark, slightly deranged sounding keyboards that are so unique to 'Vesania' and they are more prominent on this album particularly so on 'Innocence', a haunting catchy repeat riff that sticks in your mind. The keyboards contrast superbly against the harsh vocals on 'Dismay' and there are also some great riffs; it's a track that almost has a progressive edge to its construct as well as a lot of depth to the sound.

'Notion' is straightforward, intense and blackened. I like 'Disgrace' for its fast and aggressive riffs and dark haunting keyboards with a atmospheric closing guitar segment. The superb 'Fading' has intense riffing, superb gutturals, haunting keys with beautifully hypnotic, melancholic guitar segments and Scar' has some superbly 'deranged' sounding clean vocals.

'Deus Ex Machina' is an interesting and quirky album that grows on you with repeated listens and is as good as 'Distractive Killusions' if not better. Vesania, whose name means insanity/madness in Latin, are not afraid to be a little crazy and different.

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