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Darksynth Album Review: "Dawn of Delusion" by Leifendeth

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Initial Impressions

Leifendeth’s Dawn of Delusion is an unsparing attack on the ears and a stark, bleak, blunt comment on the parts of human life we don’t like to look at or discuss. There is no sweetness and little light to be found on the album. There is instead a ragged wound of sound, a lacerating aural assault that seethes and growls. Easy listening this is not. However, I enjoy the challenge it presents both lyrically and musically. I am not sure it’ll be on frequent rotation for me, but sometimes it’s refreshing to move beyond my comfort zone and see a harsher picture.

The palette of sounds that Leifendeth uses on Dawn of Delusion is in your face and aggressive. There are an assortment of jagged edged, cutting synth sounds that roar, distort and scream while gigantic slabs of sepulchral bass descend and massive, hollow drums batter and charge. The music is unrelenting and fraught with sensations of threat, danger and pain. I feel the synths, bass and drums on the album are effective in conveying what Leifendeth is going for.

Another aspect of Dawn of Delusion that works well is the interaction between the stark, complete lack of sugar coating in the lyrics and the grit and aggression in Leifendeth’s snarling vocal delivery. He has an almost demonic roughness in his voice as he rages and rips through the lyrics. There’s also whispered moments that frankly made me shiver in their sinister delivery. The lyrics themselves stab deep into the heart of things and leave a gaping wound behind.

My Favourite Tracks Analyzed

“Alpha Two” opens with jagged, slicing sounds that growl through the music along with Leifendeth’s gruff, demonic voice. The throbbing industrial drum and bass beat is surrounded by a chaos of howling sound. Thick, distorted synths lacerate the ears as the rapid beat batters into the music. I enjoy the aural assault of the metallic, shattered synths and Leifendeth’s guttural singing breaking through it all.

A high, round synth adds a technological sensation that shifts over the static edges of medium-low synths and a heavy, reverberating drum. Open mechanical sounds move in a rising pattern as the undeniably powerful beat drives on. Every element of this song ferociously attacks the senses and leaves them raw.

This song is a full-throated message about the powerful in society and those over whom they exercise control. The song’s first lines are simple, “They all give into temptation...they all give into greed. They don't fight the satisfy the need” but effectively lay out the charges.

The list of charges is damning as it is delivered: you will take what is mine, you will refuse to do the right thing, you will manipulate people and "you'll try to crown yourself as king.” On the other side, we have the expectations for the ruled in the lines, “Stay on target, follow the line. Get it done while you still have time.” He concludes that “This is the dawn of insanity!”

There is no solace in the “cold and barren wasteland we call home” as we come into conflict with "other entities and mindless fucking drones.” The narrator wonders if there’s any purpose to the game that plays itself out endlessly. He asks, “If this is ephemeral, what will we become in the end?”

Huge drums echo through the track backed by distant ethereal whirls of notes to kick off “ThIvory Dragon.” The massive beat surges on while harsh waves of twisted synth collide with the jumping beat. Volleys of hollow, open sound bounce back and forth as metallic chimes are joined by the distorted, dark growl of Leifendeth’s voice drives into the listeners ears.

The unrelenting, no quarter given aural assault of this song is impossible to ignore. An interlocking wall of sonic aggression fills the ears and those grating pulses only emphasize the anger in the lyrics. The gigantic feeling of surging noise is driven by the gut-punching sharp edges of the synths driving in rhythmic pulses over the power of the drums.

A truly demonic creature is described in this song. It is a being that “slaughters faithless swine” and “devours the weak.” It fills everyone with fear and it is a creature “whose name we do not speak.” It has “breath of fire and a heart as cold as ice” and it is ageless like the ocean and the sky.

It has “soulless eyes” that see men as mice and “it always was and it always will be!” The song warns not to move or make a sound because “the ivory dragon cannot be taken down.” It goes on to say that no weapon will kill it “if you're fool enough to put up a fight.” Anyone who attempts resistance “won't stand a chance in hell of living through the night!”

“Shallow Grave” comes to life with grave-deep bass and a horrified, nervously whispering. A profusion of hard-edged, metallic sounds is joined by a repeating metallic pulse over the slowly seething drumbeat. The energy of the drums builds as a shadowy flow of sound and quickly oscillating pulse of medium-low synth move into the open spaces of the song.

A vocal sample comes in, full of sinister power, before the whispered vocals writhe through the ominous soundscape.I am drawn to the awful certainty in the vocals as a repeating synth line bubbles upward. Sweeps of iron-hard synth with a sawtoothed edge move through the song and the beat stutters and throbs. A feeling of hopelessness pervades this song as clashing metal sounds move in a rhythmic pattern over the harshness of the beat and bass.

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To call the words of this song bleak and uncompromising is an understatement. There are no platitudes here as the first lines clearly indicate, “All it takes is one small twist of fate to send you back to the dirt from where you came. Living in fear each and every day, we all know that death is on its way.”

The message of memento mori is clear as the narrator says, “Whether you can see it, you'll soon believe it. It can't be defeated, death is on its way.” He is unsparing as he says there’s no way to fight it or hide it. He adds, “No point denying it. You'll be buried in a shallow grave!”

In the end, we all end up in the same place. As the song so succinctly puts it in the line, “Back down to the dirt, we're all the same in the end!”

A medium-high, full-sounding synth is cut by metallic noise as “The Holocene Epoch” starts out. A continually shifting synth pattern and a reverberating, hollow drumbeat come in. The drums throb in a weighty beat that underpins an oscillating pattern of hard-edged, intertwined synth. Under the half-whispered vocals, a grating background swells as an uneven, stuttering beat moves through that roughness.

There’s an allure to the high, strange synth that carries a twisting pattern of notes as deep heaviness abounds from the bass. A repeating pattern of interwoven sounds adds a feeling of growing tension. The following segment has an element of melodic warmth to it while the Stygian bass shifts. A sinister feeling permeates this song as all of its elements move together.

The narrator of this song begins by denouncing the “victims of the information age! Prisoners in the institution cage” who are “living, trying, laughing, crying, Failing, dying, justifying.” The song welcomes listeners to the “new age, enough has been said” before speaking of pages turning since there’s more to read.

The refrain is blunt and clear, “Enough has been said, we all end up dead.” The song goes on to remind us that the world we know is “just a dead man's dream” and that in the end there’s no difference between “what is good or obscene.”

The song concludes starkly that “the span of our being just a moment in time, our meaningless life just a dot on the line.”

“Chemical Nightmare” growls into being with an energetic, forward-moving drumbeat that a hard edged, deep synth adding a secondary pulse to the song. A medium-high technological synth leaps into the music with metallic precision. A rapidly wandering pulse of low synth and battering drums judder along. The aggression in the lyrics is well-matched by Leifendeth’s snarling delivery. A tight arpeggio is carried on a round-sounding synth as shifting sounds with a nasal feeling are joined by a distant and warm synth.

The hard edges and jagged sounds hit while that beat drives unevenly. A worried thread of sound dances through the music as the oscillating pulse of sharp-edged synth surges through the music with metallic tapping percussion behind it. A high line of skittering sound brushes over the surface of the track as the vocals slash into the music with a raging howl.

Anger and disgust pour from the lyrics of this song. The narrator rages that he doesn’t need “your lies, you were never true” and in no uncertain terms says, “I don’t need your bullshit and I don’t need you!”

The chorus is also unambiguous in its message, “Know no fear, Feel no pain. Taste the blood, unleash the rage!” Our narrator asks, “What have you ever done for me?” He answers his own question with another, “What's the point of the treachery? What did you think you would gain?”

A shivering vibration of metallic sound and the caw of a raven fills the opening to “Deadwood Forest.” I was enamoured by the unsettling quality of the metallic shiver. A slow, hard beat is joined by flowing static and an airy, cavernous feeling. Energy swells in waves and a rising, monumental series of notes drifts over the deep wave of aggressive sound under it.

The breaking, jangling high synth sound is matched by the ragged edges of the beat. All of the sounds flow into an open void, insectile and shimmering, as the drums batter rhythmically again. The drums thunder through the open spaces around them and a dark surge of air moves as slowly whirling knots of sound drift out into the track.

“Type Three Redux” starts with a broken sonic pulse moving under a seething voiceover and the throbbing pulse of a dance floor friendly beat. Static crackle defines shifting sounds that grow in power as the twisted rope of synth oscillates over the spiky sounds underneath it. An elevated, computerized line of sound is joined by waves of bass that add to the dynamic energy of the track.

I enjoy how the grunting, howling synth throb is joined by a wandering wash of revolving synth notes. The elevated notes resolve into a worried, scared-sounding pattern over the relentless beat. The whole track heaves and seethes as thick blocks of synth contrast with the whispered vocals.

This song’s words are a reiteration of the lyrics of “Alpha Two” and just reinforces the message that “you've taken what is mine. You refused to do the right thing.You manipulated mankind. Now you can crown yourself as king.”


There is nothing soothing or easy to digest about Dawn of Delusion. It is a lacerating, painful attack on the ideas of peace or compassion in humanity. I don’t mean this as a criticism at all. Instead it’s a musical mirror that lets us stare into the shadows of the things from which we hide and hear them laid bare.

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