Much like Front Line Assembly, I have huge respect and admiration for the songwriting, arrangement and production that goes into Delerium’s material. Practically every release switches style and thematic direction from the last and Delerium’s latest album, entitled ‘Mythologie’, is no different.
Drawing inspiration from deep and melancholic modern avant-garde electronica that has been rather popular in recent years and mixing in plenty of lush, uplifting “dream-pop” atmosphere, ‘Mythologie’ is haunting, sweet, witchy and blissfully euphoric in equal measure – in essence it’s a wonderful experience to be immersed in.
Each song is composed of a rich tapestry of soundscapes, full of depth and texture. Expect everything from pulsing, legato basslines to coarse metallic hits and sweeping, panoramic pads to dark, ghostly passages, completed by delicate, reverberated vocals from no less than five amazingly talented singers from three different countries.
The production is incredibly slick and dynamic, heightening the emotive soulfulness of the delicate, pitch-perfect vocals against the musical soundscape. In fact the music and production is of such a highly professional standard I’m surprised that it doesn’t attract greater commercial appeal. Unlike the majority of typical chart-fodder, the lyrics have true purpose, meaning and remain genuinely emotive yet the stylisation has potential for mainstream success if it managed to gain air-play on a major station – after all, it wouldn’t be the first time Delerium broke into popular music charts, if anyone can remember back to their hit song ‘Silence feat. Sarah McLachlan’.
The only warning I have is to anyone expecting to hear anything remotely up-tempo, as they won’t find anything of the sort here. This album reaches mid-tempo at the most, with the only somewhat danceable track being the catchy, groove-laden track ‘Stay’. Personally, this fact really doesn’t bother me in the slightest because I could pick a lot of other albums to give me that adrenaline fix and I’m more than content with the fact that the majority of the album is a chilled, down-tempo affair, because the whole vibe is sublime and it’s so easy to become immersed and enchanted by virtually every song.
With 12 tracks in total, the highlights on the first half-dozen have to be ‘Ritual’ with it’s dark, dreamy vocals, hooky chorus and the unforgettable, pulsating hum of the bassline. The aforementioned ‘Stay’ is definitely up there too, along with ‘Zero’ for it’s buzzsaw synth and throbbing bass in the highly-infectious chorus.
For the second half I would pick ‘Seven Gates Of Thebes’ for it’s dark, coarse bass-heavy synths and ‘Made To Move’ for its sombre, brooding atmosphere that strangely manages to be uplifting in the same moment. Last, but certainly not least, I’m choosing ‘Continuum’ for its wonderful melody lines, especially the vocal motifs, which sound similar to the epic works of Thomas Bergersen & Two Steps From Hell.
There is only one track on this album I tend to pass on, which is ‘Ghost Requiem’. My only reason for this is because, despite all its good points, it has a Reggae rhythm and bassline melody I personally don’t enjoy. I’ve never been overly fond of Ska or Reggae as a genre so it’s more personal taste than disliking the performance itself, therefore I’m not going to be overly critical of what is all-in-all an outstanding musical achievement.