05 October 2016

Album Review – Delerium ‘Mythologie’

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mythologieFront Line Assembly’s Leeb and Fulber return as Delerium once more for album number 14 or 15, depending on whether you class the acoustic ‘Voices’ as an original album or not. I fell in love with the music of Delerium way back in 1991 with the lush ‘Spiritual Archives’ and ‘Stone Tower’. I’ve stayed aboard the good ship Delerium since then, though I may have daydreamed me way through some of their releases. ‘Spheres I and II’ didn’t engage me. ‘Semantic Spaces’ and ‘Karma’ blew me away. Subsequent releases have also pleased me to varying degrees but not on the same level as the music shifted towards rather accessible and poppy waters. There was simply less for me to get my teeth stuck in to.

‘Mythologie’ does not break with the past and the sound is immediately familiar. However, it also feels fresh and strong in a way that could win over a new wave of appreciators

If Front Line Assembly is a project driven by angst, Delerium is a project driven by bliss. Four years have passed since the safe sounding ‘Music Box Opera’. So, has much changed? Well, yes and no. The lush female vocals (this time courtesy of Mimi Page, Phildel, Jaël, JES, Geri Soriano-Lightwood and Leah Randi), dreamy synth work, chilled out beats are all present and correct. This is indisputably a Delerium album. However, you could also have said that of FLA when they released ‘Echogenetic’ in 2013. Bear with me here, I am getting to a point! ‘Echogenetic’ was categorically a great FLA album, but while many of the classic FLA nuances were there, the overall sound was a leap forward, embracing more modern sounds and production techniques without diluting the formula. This, to a degree, has also happened for Delerium. ‘Mythologie’ does not break with the past and the sound is immediately familiar. However, it also feels fresh and strong in a way that could win over a new wave of appreciators from the masses that are in love with the newer crop of dark electronic artists. It is a small but vital evolution that has just about saved them from being trapped in a rut of safe and formulaic releases.

Stand out track and teaser single ‘Ritual’ is lush and full sounding, with a robust bass sound, strong riff and superb breathy vocals. If the tempo was just a little higher it would be a hands in the air moment. It is breathtaking and emotional. It is not a standout track by any great height though as the album as a whole is rewarding. ‘Blue Fires’ has a captivating bass progression, ‘Zero’ and ‘Stay’ aim for the heavens and get pretty close, ‘Ghost Requiem’ has a pleasantly dubby feel nailed down with a strong chorus hook, and ‘Continuum’ has the strongest echoes of earlier Delerium.
‘Mythologie’ is the first Delerium release for Metropolis Records and finds the act in fine form. On the strength of this release I’m staying aboard with Delerium still longer to enjoy their exploration of further new oceans.

3/5

Check Out: Ritual