CD Review

Delerium – “The Best Of”

By Marcus Pan

The Best OfWhat can I possibly write about Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber that hasn't alraedy been said? Even fans of industrial-only, a'la Front Line Assembly, have still found something of interest via side project Delerium. Delerium featured many of the best female vocalists in the business, from Kristy Thirsk to Jacquie Hunt, Leigh Nash to Sarah McLachlan. And while it seems like only yesterday when I was grooving to Poem(1), it actually has been ten years and four albums now for this group – something in the range of fifty tracks in the Delerium repertoire.

Leeb is still continuing his industrial barrage for those who are worried...Front Line Assembly's new album should have hit the streets by the time you read this review. And while I dig FLA, there's a lot of wonderment to be found inside the lighter, breathier and female fronted strains of Delerium. The opening Flowers Become Screens is, for example, one of the grooviest tracks to wind its way out of a speaker under my control. Easily one of the best rhythm & bass tracks outlines the gorgeous voice of Kristy Thirsk.

The Best Of takes you on a stint through their ten year catalog kicking off with songs from their Semantic Spaces release of 1994. Karma from 1997 is represented with two versions of Silence (one a new mix by Above & Beyond) and two other tracks besides and Poem (2001), my personal favorite, as well as 2004's Chimera(2) contribute tracks as well.

The soothing strains and smooth percussion of Paris, one of the two new tracks on The Best Of, will take you over the ocean for a short stop as Aude's high angelic voices lifts you to soar o'er the Eiffel Tower. For the dance centric folks, witness the following Truly Wise, which adds a touch of trance to The Best Of. One of my favorites off of their Poem release, which I reviewed myself in the past, is here – Terra Firma is definitely a winner to include on this compilation. Highly remindful of work by Perpetual Ocean(3) or Esion(4), Terra Firma is a very trancey, meditative song with smooth funky rhythms and Aude's sublime vocals.

Incantation is also a song that reminds me of vocal cut-up work done by Perpetual Ocean or by ThouShaltNot(5). Burroughsian in make-up with interesting vocal collages at times, Incantation pushes the bar of what the duo can do with a little bit of time and some decent track mixers.

Delerium is my sweet indulgence. My sugary smooth substitute for Leeb & Fulber’s otherwise hard stomping beats from elsewhere. It's my fat man's chocolate, my junkie's short it's one of the sweetest addictions I've laden my veins with in three plus decades of life.

(1) Reviewed in Legends #110.
(2) Reviewed in Legends #140.
(3) Perpetual Ocean’s release, Houdini was reviewed in Legends #113.
(4) Esion’s latest, En Route, was reviewed in Legends #102.
(5) ThouShaltNot has appeared in Legends multiple times: ThouShaltNot reviewed in #102, The Holiness of Now reviewed in #117 and The White Beyond reviewed in #137.
Contact Information:
Nettwerk America
Post: 8730 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 304, Beverly Hills, CA, 90211, USA
Phone: (310) 855-0643

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