Thursday, April 4, 2013

Self-Indulgence - Musical Musings in Delirium

               Welcome to the first in an irregular series I'll be doing, Self-Indulgence! Posts that have no substance or use, about thoughts I had that wouldn't be fit for a review. Completely self-indulgent.

               If there are two things I love in life, they are books and music. Unfortunately there aren’t many opportunities for me to mesh these two interests. It’s only natural to take every opportunity that’s presents itself then. Delirium has offered just that. Throughout the book, Lena, the protagonist, goes to several illegal parties where they play non-government approved music. Thing is, the music is described in the vaguest, most abstract ways possible.  “…is strange and clashing and wild- but nothing like the wailing and scratching that I heard Hana playing on her computer…” As a headbanger, that sounds like metal to me. So, in this completely self-indulgent post, I am going to use my inner Sherlock Holmes to figure out just what the rebels like to listen to. First, let me lay out what I have deduced.

  •          High pitched noises. So, that makes one think electric guitar or some type of electronica. Maybe industrial?
  •          Chaotic and noisy. Points us in the same direction.
  •          Features singers sometimes at least. When a singer was mentioned, she was described as having a voice that is thick and heavy, like honey. To my knowledge, there aren’t singers in electronica like that. However, I can think of metal bands with voices that could compare.
  •         When the girl singer was involved, it said the music “ebbs and flows, irregular, sad.” Another time it was described as “metallic and awful, fuzzy through the speakers.” If we are to assume that this is the same genre, then it has to be one that has a wide range of sounds.
  •          I seem to remember a band being mentioned several times, which doesn’t fit with electronica.

Using my abilities of deductive reasoning and blatant bias, I have narrowed the music down to either rock or metal. Now, we need to figure out what bands might be comparable.
Initially I jumped to Five Finger Death Punch, or Five Finger Love Punch in the Delirium universe, but they simply don’t fit musically. There are songs by them that could fit lyrically though. “Burn it Down” being the one that immediately comes to mind.

“I’ve questioned all your answers, they’re f---in’ lies
I won’t conform to your system, I’d rather die,
Burn it down just to watch it go,
Burn it down so everybody knows,
Burn it down just to see it torched,
Burn it down I hate it to the core”

                Admittedly, the song would be over-stating things, but I think you can see how it may fit. Lyrically. After considering it for a split-second, I had to rule it out. Never were there mentions of male vocals, or distorted vocals.
                I had to go to the drawing board again. After a few seconds of deliberation, I thought that I would try Epica, one of the finest bands ever. They feature a female vocalist (check), have a wide range of sound (check), and are a band (check.) Oddly enough, I gravitated to one of my favorite songs, “Deconstruct."

“If we could see ourselves, the mirror would reflect insanity,
Instead we camouflage the flaws that lie within,
Condone the suffering we witness as we mingle casually,
We need to right ourselves, or else we will derail”

                More subtle than Five Finger Love Punch, isn’t it? While Epica does feature distorted vocals, they are used to a lesser extent so it’s theoretically possible that Lena just missed it. Unfortunately, logistically it isn’t very likely. Epica is a symphonic metal band, so their songs feature a symphonic orchestra and choir, which is a large expense that I can’t see these illegal bands risking. I do think this is closer though.
                Next, I started thinking about bands resembling Epica but more humble. This is when I get my “Eureka!” moment. Evanescence. They’re almost a more reserved Epica. They have some symphonic elements, some choir work, but they are far closer to a traditional rock band. There’s a haunting quality to Evanescence songs that I can really see in Delirium

“Don’t say I’m out of touch
With this rampant chaos - your reality
I know well what lies beyond my sleeping refuge
The nightmare I built my own world to escape”

                This conglomeration of rock, sorrow, and beauty is what we are looking for. I could see Amy Lee up on the stage, rocking out and risking her life to bring the beauty of music to this land of the dead.

                When Lauren Oliver was writing Delirium, I don’t know what type of music she imagined. Music is such personal media, and that is what’s so great about it. You may not even know about the bands I mentioned here, Lauren Oliver could despise them, but they are truly what I imagined, and in my eyes are completely correct.

What music did you imagine when you read Delirium? Loverex (Skrillex), Dustin Webber (Justin Bieber), Dimmu Hugger (Dimmu Borgir). Tell me in the comments!

*I own none of the music mentioned


  1. Floyd for sure! If it wasn't Floyd it should have been! :)

    1. I don't think they were listening in a purple haze. There was some booze though.

    2. One cannot assume that listening to Pink Floyd must be done in a purple haze. One can assume that one who does listen to Pink Floyd has fabulous taste in music! Just a little FYI for ya!

    3. One can assume that one got that "fabulous" taste in music through a purple haze.

      You have seen Pink Floyd music videos, right?

  2. Hmmm. The links to the songs did not appear until I posted my comment. Kind of weird.

    1. Sorry about that. I forgot to add them at first, and only remembered while you were reading. The page updated when you made the comment, so they came up. Thanks for bringing that up though DeAnn!

  3. Hmmm, interesting concept for a series! I enjoyed the post, but I didn't enjoy Delirium so much. The book wasn't really my thing I guess.

    1. So many times I have thoughts that wouldn't be fit for a review, but I need to get out. Why not dedicate a series to it? It's completely Self-Indulgent, but I'm not forcing anyone to read it. Yet.

      Delirium was hit and miss for me. I LOVED the setting, but the rest of it failed to really grab me. The Romance was creepy, the characters weren't anything spectacular, though they weren't bad either. Hit and miss.

  4. Anything anti-establishment with a female vocalist in music puts me in mind of Otep, regardless of how the vocals are described. Otep's certainly not melodic for most of there songs - the exception being a few songs on Ascension - but Otep Shamaya owns the image of rebellious anger so well that my mind will refuse to see all the reasons it can't be Otep, and make it Otep.

    I just started Delirium, but I'm sure as hell going to put Otep to every one of those scenes you described when I get to them now. So thanks for that.

    1. This is a little embarrassing, but I haven't yet listened to Otep. Along with Cradle of Filth, they are on Next to be Listened to List. I keep hearing GREAT things about them, but I've been in the Doom and Gothic stuff past little bit. My Dying Bride, Swallow the Sun, Saturnus, Paradise Lost, Katatonia... I simply have been exploring other genres. :( Seriously though, those scenes can be so much fun. I should put up the playlist I was using while reading. Scar Symmetry, Five Finger Love Punch, Slipknot, Gojira, and Flyleaf. Great fun.

      PS - This was written to Confrontation by Otep.