Se Delan: The Fall

Highly promising opener from Justin Greaves and Belinda Kordic.

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You get these collaborations from time to time. When two highly individual talents get together, and craft something altogether different that simultaneously reflects both their separate abilities and yet also creates a joint vision. Such is the case here. Crippled Black Phoenix mastermind Justin Greaves and Killing Mood’s Belinda Kordic each have a passionate perspective on the music they’ve helped to shape over the years. Consequently, the pair could have actually been incapable of complementing one another. However, the opposite has happened.

Each appears to have discovered within the idiosyncrasies of the other something that allows them to infiltrate further into their own musical subconscious. If you can imagine what might have occurred if Kate Bush and Mike Oldfield had secretly jammed together in the late 70s, then you’ll get some idea of what’s going on here. Not that Greaves and Kordic are in any way comparable to Bush and Oldfield, but it’s the manner in which each enhances the uniqueness of the other, yet they also work as a firmly focused duo. The album would simply not have been possible without their deep artistic trust and understanding.

The Fall opens with Chasing Changes and Beneath The Sea, which allow Greaves to show how acoustic presentation can be both intense and cinematic, while Swedish vocalist Kordic develops her voice as an extra, eerily enticing instrument. Further along, Today actually has a leftfield funkiness that’s also prevalent in the musical maze of The Hunt, a composition that seemingly meanders, yet has a melancholy purpose.

Perhaps the most effective musical moments are Dirge and Lost Never Found. It’s here that Se Delan draw in inspiration from Ennio Morricone, and the way in which he can bring emotions to the surface through a claustrophobic causality. These two songs are linked by On My Way, a tone poem that helps to make this a defining trilogy within the album. It’s as if the two are creating a prelude to something greater they will explore on the next album. These tracks are seemingly self-contained, but also fit into the context of The Fall.

Greaves and Koerdic have a special rapport that’s only hinted at here. There’s obviously more depth to be brought out on future works. What they have done is show the possibilities which exist in their partnership. The Fall is certainly an impressive beginning, but the exciting prospect is what will come next.

Se Delan actually do come across as being fully appreciative here of how they are taking tentative steps towards something miraculous. It’s a fine start, but the next album could be significant.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021