Sound — 9
From A Second Story Window (FASSW from here on out), since releasing their 2004 record Not A Single Word Has Been Omitted have been one of the "buzzword" bands of the metalcore genre. However, 2006's release of Delenda is a ten track work of art that is sure to take the band, and the genre as a whole to new levels. The album kicks off with a three minute introduction. Why the band chose to do this is beyond me. It feels almost like filler, and is entirely too long. It is honestly one of the few distractions on the album. Much to the listeners luck though, the second song, "Soft Green Fields", turns the brutal dial to 15. The song kicks off with a lightning fast assault of intense guitar and incredible drumming. As fast as that happens, it breaks down into incredible bass-tuned death metal growling which is so tight to the breakdown, it almost feels melodic. If you can't tell from the first song alone, FASSW really raises the bar in terms of the technical influence of their music. The whole album is filled with an incredible amount of tempo and time signature changes. As with many metal-influenced genres today, the mathematical influence is undeniable. The overly long second track segues into the blisteringly fast guitar of "A Piece Of History Written In English". Amusingly of course, the vocals are barely recognizable English. But that is completely fine with me.
Lyrics — 9
As mentioned earlier, there is a significant amount of death metal growling. While this might be one of the vocals most apparent features, the other inclusion in the vocal department is that of black metal screaming. The combo of these two similar, yet different styles adds up to be a great amalgam. Song three ends with singing, something you probably aren't expecting at this point in the album. But the superb vocalists of FASSW even manage to pull this off expertly. "Dark Waters Of Thought" is a true experiment in time signatures and musicianship. At times the guitars and music overall seem to be slowing, while double-bass drum beats blast faster and faster. This time and speed divergence, coupled with the overall shift of tempos throughout the song really make for a pleasant and unique experience. After one more brutal assault with "Oracles And Doorsteps", an elegantly guitar laced, and bass heavy instrumental comes next. "For Those Lost" is a great reprieve on the constant brutality of the music, while still showing their musicianship. "The Crusher" is another very intense song. While it may be a good song, in touch with the rest of the album, I find it a little long and repetitive. I might lose interest if it weren't for the excellent guitar work at the end of the song, and the knowledge of the song to come next. Speaking of "Ghosts Over Japan", say hello to your ballad. And not just any ballad, this song is a beautiful piano ballad. I find the lyrics of the song like, "Seems like forever since this song began", a little out of place; almost like he's searching for words. Talking about the song during the song is like breaking the fourth wall in theater, it just doesn't work. Vocally, all the notes are hit very well, and is quite in tune with the rest of the music. The instrumental center part of the song, coupled with some decently heavy bass drumming is an excellent combo.
Overall Impression — 9
The album concludes with "These Lights Above Us" and "Mouring For Morning". The former of the two is another song that flows with the rest of the CD, and after the ballad, gets you ready for a finish. Finally, "Mourning For Morning", one of those "epic" 8 minute long tracks. It combines everything in the album into one 8 minute capsule. To sum it all up, From A Second Story Window - Delenda is a seriously intense metalcore album, and my favorite such genre release of 2006. While the album packs really great musicianship, technicality, and mathematical elements, I find it to be a little repetitive at times. Also, with the epic end track, and opening intro, the album has a bit of filler.