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Deth Rali - Aldebaran (self-released)

10 January 2024

That’s a neat juggling trick that Deth Rali pulls off on the latest single “Aldebaran.” It comes on with the sort of chunky abrasive guitar rhythms that convinces you that they are going to sweep us away into some hard rock or pseudo-metal realm, but it is what they use to balance these muscular chops that make things intriguing.

It would be easy to take these heavy grooves and pile on more weight to create a sonic juggernaut. Instead, they layer on psychedelic spirals of guitar and beguiling sonic washes, harmonic vocals, and post-rock soundscapes so that the music swerves in a much more intriguing, fulfilling and unique direction.

And it is this strange blend of scuzzy, hard rock salvos and more trippy sonics, this meeting of the muscular and the melodic, this pas-de-deux of psychedelic experimentation and bull-headed rock, this balance of groove and graceful invention, that makes the song so great.

Not that we need to go inventing any more genres; indeed, those days are done, and the limits of what was essentially pointless journalistic shorthand have clearly been exposed, but, Deth Rali seems to sit in their own sacred sonic space on the musical Venn Diagram. But then, shouldn’t all bands try to do just that? Couldn’t they all attempt to lead rather than follow? After all, if you don’t, if you can be easily placed in the existing sonic landscape, are you bringing anything new to the table? And if you are not doing that, how do you justify your existence?

So many bands give the audience what they want, or at least what they think they want. With “Aldebaran,” Deth Rali attempts to provide the listener with what they didn’t realize they wanted, what they actually needed. Did I say attempt? They damned well succeed. Just listen….