With the #SummerofSynth starting to come to a close we begin to wrap things up with another stellar release by Ethereal Delusions in the form of Ascension. After starting the summer with the release of the single “Wingman (featuring Noah Bernstein),” and then following that up with a collaborative album with KiLoSo entitled DAY|NIGHT (which unfortunately we haven’t got around to reviewing yet due to our hiatus), it ends with another full length album that is easily Ethereal Delusions’ best work yet.
The first song, “Vice,” is a tour de force in sound design with a booming voice over that literally sets the proverbial stage. As someone who grew up on watching shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, where a narrator spoke of controlling what you would see and hear, this track made me smile and the music that follows is equally impressive as a result. The next track, “Sunny Days,” also starts with a voice over and goes a bit more into the Ethereal Delusions mythos before transitioning into a straight up chill vibe.
I recall from an interview that Ethereal Delusions once did, as part of Locals Live on KBVR TV, that there is an underlying story which exists throughout his music and with tracks such as “Sunny Days” this continues to be fleshed out as a result. I admit that I am sucker for this kind of thing, and would like to know more about the story behind the music, but until the whole picture is revealed these little morsels are a nice taste to hold one over until the time is right.
Up next is “Wingman (featuring Noah Bernstein,” which I already talked about in great detail before, followed by “Friday Bounce (featuring Androck)” which is a hip hop infused track with some really slick rapping. “The Ethereal Delusion,” a hypnotic song with an otherworldly feel reminiscent of spacewave, is the break in the action to the four song block of tracks which feature other artists. “Night Terror (featuring DMH Musicworks)” is much more of a heavier track than those that came before, almost darksynth in its design, as it comes at you hard and with unrelenting fury in the form of an absolutely shredding guitar. “Getaway (featuring Flammen)” dials it back, coming down smooth, easy, and including impressive vocals that sound straight out of the early new wave movement.
“Unveiling” is much like “The Ethereal Delusion,” in that it gives you those spacewave vibes, but is also much more of a sinister slow jam in comparison as it’ll send a bit of a shiver up and down your spine. That sense of dread continues twofold in “First Contact” as sirens seem to echo in the distance, a foreboding sound that heralds the coming of something not of this world. “Blood on the Waves” begins the assault proper, like boots on the ground for a shoreline assault, featuring a killer synth solo that leads the proverbial charge.
“The Resistance” fights back, pummeling the keys with precision, laying down on the sound and letting it wail a defiant cry which coalesces into “Hope.” This track is simply exquisite, featuring vocals from none other than Ethereal Delusions himself and he absolutely slays. I can only hope that we shall hear more of his golden tones in the future, because he has the potential to rank up there with some of the best vocalists in the synthwave scene today for sure.
“Trigger Point” ends the album, coming at you loud and proud which is what can certainly be said for the album as a whole; Ethereal Delusions should be proud of this album as it loudly makes a mark not only as part of his discography but upon the synthwave scene as well. From the release of his first proper album, Shutter Shades, back in February to now he has come a long way in such a short amount of time. He has truly begun to ascend with no signs of coming back down anytime soon and I look forward to seeing where he soars off to next.
To delve deeper into the mind of Ethereal Delusions, we conducted an interview: