Delerium, for those who don't know, used to be a spacey, electronic Front Line Assembly side-project which many avoided like the plague. Avoided, that is, until the sound of the group was completely recreated with the release of Incantation and the Semantic Spaces LP. Suddenly Delerium was the word on everybody's lips; people all over Canada held street parties in Bill Leeb's honour and Rhys Fulber received dozens of pairs of female underwear in the post every week.
Well, okay, it's possible I'm exaggerating slightly, but it's certainly true the band was reinvented entirely and became Front Line's most commercially successful side-project to date. Signed to Nettwerk, the new CD Karma is more eagerly awaited by some people than a very eagerly awaited thing indeed.
The first track, Enchanted, sets the scene. After a slow, atmospheric start, we hear a harp criss-cross with other melodies and swirly female vocals, while drums tip-tap along quietly in the background. A subliminal sense of loss permeates the song as Kristy Thirsk (the first of four guest singers) pleadingly sings, "Whenever you steal / My punishment's real / You gave me sorrow..."
As the album progresses, different tracks show Enigma and Dead Can Dance influences. Indeed, there are Dead Can Dance samples seamlessly integrated in the album. A male voice choir and samples from the Baka Forest Pygmies give further depth to this already lushious album, making it even more of a soulful, stress-relieving epic.
It's also difficult to pick out highlights as all eleven tracks on this seventy-five minute album are perfectly crafted. Imagine Dead Can Dance inviting Enigma and Enya round for a jamming session, while a small group of forest pygmies wander about serving Martini. Without a doubt the best CD I've picked up over the last few months. (DH)