Track By Tracks: Derelict - Versus Entropy (2024)

About the album as a whole (LYRICALLY & MUSICALLY):

Existing fans of Derelict will recognize that it’s us right away. We play technical death metal with lots of melody and vocals that are more on the clear intelligible side (for death metal). That said, we let ourselves experiment and explore this album. 2012’s ‘Perpetuation’ was full steam ahead. It didn’t have a single clean passage. While we are very proud of that album, we did not want to do that again. We wanted an album that hits hard, breathes, and ends before you get overwhelmed. We were heavily influenced by the structure of Gorguts’ ‘Colored Sands’ album, where they put a long instrumental piece as the fifth track of a nine-song album. We set out to do something similar and wrote our first full-band proggy instrumental song with ‘Attunement’. It serves as a bridge between the two halves of the album. The first four songs probably resemble the Derelict people are most familiar with, but even within that, there are more dynamics and variation. After Attunement, the second half experiments even more. Dans Les Dents is Max’s first song on lead vocals and is probably our most brutal song to date. Spectrum challenges conventions with more of a bluesy/southern metal sound, but the lyrics are about celebrating differences within masculinity by making space for all kinds of identities. The song Derelict is very thrashy and also very cheesy. It’s an ode to the band’s history and I really didn’t hold back on the cheesy and sentimental lyrics. And finally, The Escapist, another sung by Max, is very old school and progressive. You can definitely hear Max’s Death and Atheist influences there.

Several of the songs on Versus Entropy explore typical themes for Derelict, those being climate change, social injustice, anger and hopelessness in the face of the capitalist machine, etc. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to avoid those topics entirely, or if I would want to. But there is more emotion and introspection on this album than we had before. Versus Entropy (the song) is about the futile struggle to create something permanent in the face of the natural processes of decay. Infinite Dread is about the feeling of getting lost in a world run by algorithms. The entire second half of the album is about personal and emotional topics that we had never explored before.


1. Versus Entropy:

If someone had never heard Derelict before and wanted to get an impression in one song, this would be the one. It’s melodic tech death with some brutal riff breaks, dueling solos, a lovely clean break, and an epic crescendo. The lyrics are about the human struggle to stave off decay and decline, which of course is impossible, and the toll that it takes.

2. Infinite Dread:

Similar to Versus Entropy, this is a tech death song, no questions asked. The verse is in 5/4, which is hard to sing over. The tech bridge in the middle is incredibly fun to play. The lyrics describe the negative impact of having our brains plugged into social media algorithms that in turn feed on us, distilling our fears and desires into products, making content out of our reactions to those products, hyper-focusing it all, more and more and more.

3. Terminal:

This is a riffy-er song, definitely taking some inspiration from Revocation, Meshuggah, and Decapitated. It has a nice black metal bridge and an out-of-nowhere breakdown outro. The lyrics compare the fact that our civilization has super-advanced systems for analyzing and tracking the economy, which is a social construct, while we have much fewer systems for analyzing the planet, which is our life support system and is currently in rapid decline.

4. Workhorse:

Tech death with Gorod influences as well as sprinkles of grindcore. Very heavy. Lyrically, this song was inspired by a pipe fitter I met in Hamilton Ontario after attending a labor union meeting. He told me about his struggle to get a unionized position. I said, ‘Yeah, I imagine that without a pension it must be difficult to plan for retirement’. He answered, ‘Buddy, my retirement plan is a nine-millimeter’. So yeah, Workhorse is an ode to the angry working class who were told to work hard and they’d be rewarded, only to find out that capitalism doesn’t care about them at all. It’s also a warning to our whole society: if people get mad and desperate enough, they’ll revolt, and we’ll have deserved it.

5. Attunement:

The title of this song is a word used in D&D to describe the process of connecting to a magical object to make it yours. We used it as the title for our first-ever instrumental to sort of represent the process of connecting to music more naturally and creatively and letting the song become literal whatever it needed to be.

6. Dans Les Dents:

This song was written a while ago. Dans les Dents, which means “In the Teeth” but in English it would be more like “In your face”. It started as a working title but it just matched the music so well. The song deals with social media and the addiction you can get from the immediate gratification that comes from it.

7. Spectrum:

I was listening to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan at the time. We’ve always been fans of Southern metal and blues-based music but it’s never been apparent in our music. We thought it would be fun to do a Southern-style song but run it through a Derelict blender. The lyrics are about inclusive masculinity and openness. This is new territory for us musically and I’m very excited about it.

8. Derelict:

Most of the music for this song was written in the wake of finding out that Trevor Strnad from Black Dahlia had passed away. It got me thinking about the importance of a band to the people in the band itself, and what Derelict meant to me. The song is thrashy, melodic, and anthemic. The lyrics are about the band itself.

9. The Escapist:

Some of these riffs have been around since about 2013. I think it’s a combination of classic Derelict elements like the trem picking and odd time signatures but with a cool type of groove and some exotic gypsy scale breaks and leads. The lyrics are about wanting to escape your reality, be it through substances, media, or other avenues. I think this one is both brutal and progressive in equal amounts. I think you could describe the album that way as a whole so we thought it was a nice way to wrap it up.

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