The deeply schizoid second album by experimental metal act From a Second Story Window, Delenda reveals frustrating glimpses of a band that reverts back to cookie-cutter thrash metal far too often in between passages that reveal a far greater set of influences. The album starts with "Acknowledgement," which features a long passage of tuned percussion that almost sounds like a gamelan, but that leads directly into the tired thrash of "Soft Green Fields." "Ghosts Over Japan" sounds bizarrely likely a slightly more ballsy version of Coldplay (?!), complete with crooning vocals and somewhat elegant piano, laid over a mutated martial drumbeat. "For Those Lost" slowly builds from a downright pretty opening in the manner of a classic Sonic Youth tune, and ends up everywhere, with bits of Japanese noise rock and Mr. Bungle-style skronky experimentalism peeking out. Too often, however, these elements aren't allowed to develop fully before it's back to the double-time drumming, death growl vocals and unison guitar riffs. It often sounds as though there's a thinly veiled power struggle within the band, with one faction pushing in an artier direction as the other claims fealty to their thrash and grindcore roots. If the first subset ever form their own band, their music would get a lot more interesting.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason