Review Summary: Maybe not be everyone's cup of coffee, but undeniably one of the most powerful and innovative psy-trance albums of all time.
Of all the albums I’ve ever owned, whether CD, mp3, or tape cassette (I’m not quite old enough to have ever had anything on vinyl), Vicious Delicious
is by far my favourite. It is the first Infected album I’ve ever heard, and has been with me since 2008, when I first took an interest in electronic music.
In 2008, I was 16 years old, and was really into metal and hard rock, and all things related. I became interested in electronica when I saw Aphex Twin’s music video for “Come To Daddy,” which sent me on a search to find more music that would melt my brain which bizarre synths and sound effects, while still satisfying my craving for that heavy metal distortion sound that I loved so dearly.
So, after all that, you can imagine my delight when I stumbled across such wonders as “Heavyweight,” Suliman,” and “Becoming Insane,” three psytrance-based tracks slathered with heavy rock riffs that get stuck in your head for days and days. After doing some research on the album, and especially after seeing that the cover art had been designed by David Ho, using the same morbid Asian girl from Seether’s album, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces,
I knew I had to get it on my CD shelf.
Don’t get me wrong, though; I didn’t buy the album just for three tracks mentioned above, one of which was a radio hit single, and the cover art. That would be kind of superficial, wouldn’t it? No, I had a long, thorough listen to the album as a whole, multiple times before actually going out and spending money on it, and the three features that made me fall in love with it are as follows:
1. The musical experience.
Each track flows beautifully with both the following track and the previous. Nearly every track blends into the next one, although sometimes it’s not as obvious as in others. This gives the album a unifying quality, making it seem much more like an experience, or a journey, if you will, rather than a mere playlist.
2. Variety and versatility.
Each track on the album is unique in its own right, yet still maintains that signature Infected soundscape that makes each track both mind-bending and dance-inducing at the same time. In addition, each track seems to have a special feature that makes it stand out from the other tracks, such as the smorgasbord of heavy but catchy guitar riffs in “Suliman,” the build-up in “Vicious Delicious,” which may be the longest, most intense and emotional build-up I have ever heard, and the build-up in “Special Place,” which gradually picks up tempo as it goes on, but constantly adds more and more layers of percussion throughout, making it seem like the tempo isn’t actually increasing, but consistently resetting itself, like a motorcycle shifting gears.
If, for some reason, the rest of the tracks don’t appeal to your senses, this one might just make you change your opinion. I would require a full page just to explain everything I love about this track, but briefly speaking, from the looming “danger overhead” tone set by the ominous “gongs” in the beginning, to the orchestral guitar synths and modulated vocal samples, to the sudden change in mood dead in the center of the song, which leads up to one of the most profound and passionate guitar solos of the decade, this near 9-minute musical manifesto of emotional havoc is an adventure all on its own.
There are, however, some short tracks on the album that stand out from the rest, which potential listeners should be warned of. These include the melancholy rock ballad known as “In Front of Me,” as well as “Artillery,” the hip-hop track featuring Swollen Members, made famous by the Adam Sandler movie You Don’t Mess With The Zohan,
and the pop-oriented, semi-sarcastic anthem called “Forgive Me.” Tracks like these, which stray unnervingly far from the band’s psytrance roots, may be a problem for some of their earlier fans.
This album may never get the review it deserves, but I think it’s sufficient for now to say that while it is a far cry from Infected Mushroom’s more “pure” psychedelic works, Vicious Delicious
is still one of their most powerful albums to date. The variety of genres explored in this album makes it a widely accessible piece of electronic art, opening up more minds to the psychedelic side of electronica than ever before.