Surrealism and psychedelia combine to describe an intriguing form of magick on Another De Sade’s “The Allusionist.” That is, “magick” in the sense of “intentional change,” not card tricks. The mini-album is a semi-autobiographical account of the band’s journey to find knowledge and truth – with all of the resulting challenges, rewards, and “False Summits” described along the way. Thoughtful lyrics mesh with melodic hooks, infectious rhythms, mosh-inducing power chords, and gorgeous arpeggios to take the listener on an excursion that becomes more rewarding with each listen.
Truth be told, this six-song album is no playful trip through a meadow of daisies and butterflies. Nor would one expect that from a band called Another De Sade. In fact, this is about traveling in the original sense of that word, derived from the Old French “travail” meaning “to work.” This album will both challenge and reward the listener, as all great works should.
The EP begins with the gothic “Echino,” which recounts the storyteller’s frustrations interacting with a world stuck on auto-pilot. The dialogue advances with the prog-inspired “Flytrap” and continues with the genre-defying “The Marksman.” This third track seems to represent a catharsis musically and thematically on the EP. And yet, no laurels will be rested upon here, as the aforementioned “False Summit” opens with a Fugazi-inspired rhythm, swinging into the line “it’s all smoke and mirrors again.” And the Sisyphean tale continues to unfold. “Hectocotylus” (you’ll have to look it up) closes the lyrical portion of the album and we are then presented with the haunting “Para Bellum” played on a home-built lap harp. This album closer acts as a kind of ellipsis, preparing the listener for the next chapter in the Another De Sade story. “The Allusionist” is a strong album, with a promise of more to come – what more could one want?
This review was originally posted on voyagerfest.org.