Derelics began after guitarist and lead singer Reno moved to London to find what he referred to as the “Holy Grail” of musicians. Reno had been trying for years to put a band together in Paris, but to no avail. In London, Reno set out on his search for a drummer and a bass player. He found a drummer named Rich. Still without a bass player the duo, who since their meeting had become better musically acquainted, decided to record sans bass player. The fruits of this recording resulted in their debut three- song EP Introducing, which was recorded with famed metal producer Gomez Arellano, at Orgone Studios in North London.
Derelics stomp their way through the six-plus-minute sludge metal opener “To Brunehilde” which may refer to the fabled princess turned Valkyrie from Icelandic and German mythology. The duo maximizes their sound with multiple layers of fuzzy feedback and reverberating bass drum. Here the pair also showcase their ear for melodic construction as “To Brunehilde” suddenly quiets for a few minutes in the middle and takes a turn full of wispy vocals with backing ah’s and drum circle-like breakdown beats. From here the song slowly and carefully builds up again until it reaches a hazy zenith of dirty, raunchy rock.
By contrast, “California” with its classic metal motif opening where Reno sings a few bars a cappella before the song launches, displays a softer and more groovy rock side to it, much like a Soundgarden ballad, which as long as the reference is out there, Reno’s vocals have that same “man in pain” cry Chris Cornell has. As “California” slowly lurches along, its sound structure becomes as diverse as the state for which it is named. Over its six-minute stretch “California” exhibits influences of everything from grunge to post-rock, and straight up heavy metal. Fans of metal with longer attention spans than my own will likely find this to be a good track to get lost in though I found it a little too long for my taste. Derelics definitely won my heart back with their raucous stomp-metal closer “Ride the Fuckin’ Snake to Valhalla,” an eight-plus-minute all-out metal assault of long hair shaking head banging rock.
There seems to be a bit of campiness to Derelics, from their moniker to their song titles. But the music is true to form. It seems they play the genre card well as most metal bands and really don’t stray from the direction of loud guitars, drums and screaming. As a genre, heavy metal never wowed me. But it is a genre I have come to have great respect for. I would recommend Introducing to anyone who has been a metal head their whole lives, or those like me, who enjoy a little something different from time to time.
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