"Distractive Killusions" is the sound of a band at the top of its game. Featuring drummer Daray (VADER) and vocalist/guitarist Orion (BEHEMOTH), Poland's VESANIA found a groove on 2005's "God the Lux", a symphonic black metal album that is heavy on the atmosphere, but "Distractive Killusions" sees the group reaching a whole new level. Now the symphonic bombast comes with improved (read: more memorable) songwriting and a black/death pummel packed with strong riffs and an even fiercer drum attack. The X Studio (ANTIGAMMA, NYIA) recording with engineer/co-producer Szymon Czech gives the album a bigger punch too.
What is most noticeable on "Distractive Killusions" is how quickly the songs distinguish themselves from one track to the next. Whereas "God the Lux" worked more as a mood album with the aforementioned emphasis on atmosphere, the new album offers songs that stand on their own and leave a bigger impact. It is apparent from opener "Narrenschyff" during which one hears the blasting attack come with better riffs and Orion barking in a louder, more intelligible voice. As an aside, the segment of maniacal laughter that occurs at one point in the song is not only wonderfully macabre, but also perfectly suited to the track. The quality level remains high the entire way. "The Dawnfall (Hamartia and Hybris)" features a catchy melody and lyrics that become imbedded in the brain, "Silence Makes Noise (Eternity - The Mood)" charges out of the gates with a demented keyboard section/rhythm and evolves into a unique (for the style), though no less devastating, cut. When "Hell is for Children" (no, not the PAT BENATAR song) arrives, the band effectively changes pace to a slow tempo with a nefarious keyboard arrangement.
Finally, the DIMMU BORGIR comparisons continue to be accurate, yet only to a certain extent, mainly because of the symphonic aspects. While I did not expect a stinker from these veterans, I was pleasantly surprised at how "Distractive Killusions" outdoes its predecessor. I expect the album to earn VESANIA a bevy of new fans.