And now for something completely different, and quite extraordinary on multiple levels — a smorgasbord of strange delights, mind-warping delicacies, and blood-freezing terrors for the adventurous listener, a work of mad and marvelous genius that discerning consumers of sound will not soon forget. This is Flawed Synchronization With Reality, the debut album by an experimental black metal project that has taken the name Deemtee.
Deemtee is the work of Spanish multi-instrumental artist NHT from Garth Arum, As Light Dies, and Aegri Somnia — though one should not be misled into guessing that this record will be in the vein of any of those other bands. Perhaps the best way to begin (succinctly) is to share some of the descriptive references in the press materials that have paved the way for the record’s June 22 release (by GrimmDistribution and Suprachaotic Records):
“Flawed Synchronization with Reality is a compilation of psychotic experiences, based in human psychology, the immensity of the universe, the insignificance of the human while facing an alien and incomprehensible deities and the end of all times. There’s a certain tension pervading throughout the entire record, a trance-inducing atmosphere stripped from any pleasantries that will sure impress fans of Deathspell Omega, Oranssi Pazuzu, Valborg, Blut Aus Nord, Ved Buens Ende“.
None of this is idle chatter, but rather an accurate forecast of what lies ahead, as we present a premiere stream of the entire album. Yet perhaps a few more paragraphs of at least one listener’s impressions might be useful, so you’ll have a somewhat better idea of what you’re getting yourself into:
Neither the album as a whole nor any single song is a predictable, linear progression. The music is often vastly intricate, and also unexpectedly mesmerizing. At times it’s utterly brazen and boisterous, and at other times seductive or violently disorienting. Some tracks become concertos of madness and psychedelic hallucination, others divert into voyages across cosmic oceans or plummet into wells of inner despair. Nothing is at it seems at first, and there is no chart laid out to tell you where you’re going next.
The production is finely tuned to permit each instrumental ingredient to stand out, even if the mind has difficulty focusing intently on what any one of them is doing because the combinations are so frequently bewildering. Even so, you can detect the fascinating (and technically impressive) interplay among the instruments, and there is extravagant vocal interplay as well, ranging far and wide among harsh roars, livid howls, gruesome gutturals, delirious screams, and vibrant clean singing (which itself ranges from haunting to fiery and entrancing). As if this weren’t enough, NHT also enlisted an array of male and female vocal collaborators to provide speeches (often distorted), choirs, and strange conversations.
The album begins with a show-stopper, a song called “Birds” that’s the kind of long, mind-bending piece-de-resistance that you might expect to come at the end of an album such as this, to cap the entire experience in a pinnacle of craziness. It has few anchors to reality, so variable are the rhythms and pacing, and so twisted and ever-warping are the riffs. The mercurial fretwork delivers shrieking extravagance, slithering melodiousness, angular jolts, insectile skittering, grand braying fanfares, lunatic meanderings, and dreamy, gleaming and gliding raptures. The drumming and bass performances are themselves an unpredictable kaleidoscope of sound, shifting continually in intensity and patterns — sometimes stopping altogether to allow the unfolding of ambient alien tonalities to surf through the brain, and even injecting stop-start, weirdly syncopated rhythms that actually succeed in hooking the head.
After that eye-popping start, the album takes yet another unexpected turn with “Badtrip Culmination“, which is pretty much what the title says — a storm of relentless blasting drums and an enveloping miasma of grim, dissonant, swarming riffery, together with a cacophonous cavalcade of cruel and crazed vocal delirium. It’s so destabilizing that it risks throwing your inner ear out of whack -— until the pandemonium subsides, without warning, into an eerie astral drift in which ghosts seem to wail and weep.
What comes after that opening one-two punch is “Glowing Serpents Everywhere“, which is actually an infectious number at first, launched by a heavy pounding riff and rocking beats, and there’s an air of majesty conjoined with the by-now expected madness. But of course the song changes again and again, becoming a shape-shifting trip through space-time wormholes and lysergic acid seas, and the changes persist through the freakish and frenetic permutations of “Multiverse Recoil“.
“Mirror of Confusion“, on the other hand, is glistening and glorious — and also monstrous, thanks to the overlay of grotesquely distorted proclamations or musings (with a long spoken-word sample that consumes half the track). “Tunnel of Melting Black Stars” rivals the opening track in its length, and although it’s less extraordinary in its transformations, it also becomes a shape-shifter — moody and enthralling at first and then building into an experience that’s demented and despairing — and then so beautifully soulful and sad that it pulls at the heartstrings, before becoming a cosmic journey of wonder and fear.
How might such an album end? Surprisingly, of course. “Nobody Out There” becomes a union of bright acoustic guitar with a distinctly Spanish flare; soaring, wordless vocals (both male and female); and gossamer ambience — together creating a sense of yearning laced with loss, and a finale of pulse-pounding vibrancy.
What will you do next? Maybe not immediately, because there’s a lot to process here, and perhaps the desire to get your mental moorings back in place, but eventually what you will do, if you’re as captivated by the album as I am, is listen to it again (and again). It really is like a psychoactive drug. It doesn’t lose its excitement just because you’ve heard it once, and each time it reveals ravishing new discoveries.
Flawed Synchronization With Reality was recorded by NHT in Kadath Sound Studios in Spain, and he mixed and mastered it there as well. The logo and artwork were created by Unholy Designs.