Released on September 23rd, Delerium’s Mythologie is an incredible, multi-faceted collaboration not only between Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber, but between many guest artists as well. There are quite a few female vocalists, including JES, Jaël Malli, Phildel, Mimi Page, Geri Soriano-Lightwood and Leah Randi. This record spans genres, which makes sense as it’s filled with such variety due to the visiting vocalists. From the first track, “Blue Fires,” to the conclusion “Dark Visions,” this album is one to really pay attention to. It may not be a relaxing, sit-back-and-listen album, but it is one that will make a listener think, which is enjoyable in its own way.
The album begins with “Blue Fires,” featuring Mimi Page. It is brooding, rather heavy and a surprisingly chill intro to what promises to be a marvelous album. The trap-like percussion, electro effects, R&B bass and ethereal vocals seem a bit paradoxical, yes, but in no way do they clash. Page’s vocals are honestly the icing on the cake – not only are they beautiful, but they convey the absolute sadness of the lyrics (e.g. “I’m nothing without you”).
“Zero,” the track following “Blue Fires,” features another female vocalist. Here, Phildel shines. Her smoky but strangely light voice glides through the melody and gives us relaxing, if melancholy, vibes. Her voice is peculiar but delicate and calls to a listener like a siren from an old Greek tragedy. Though the song following “Zero” is still laidback, it does get the album moving a bit. “Keep On Dreaming” is just as a depressing as the tracks before it – “you wish you would die,” is not exactly hearts and roses-type writing. Where it does get a little more exciting is with the percussion, which is jazzier, and in the melody, which features synths and interesting electronic embellishments.
“Stay” featuring JES is quite like the song before it, but “Angels,” another track featuring Mimi Page, is very different from her last appearance. It’s sexy and formless, and begins with a recording of natural sounds – birds and crickets. The atmospheric quality lets us check another genre off the list and creates a beautiful soundscape; this moment in the album is one for easy, thoughtless listening.
“Seven Gates of Thebes,” a track without a featuring vocalist, relies heavily on trap-like beats and traditional, untampered piano. The “Ghost Requiem” that follows is quite possibly the best track on the album. Spanning a couple genres – Beatles-esque pop, atmospheric, electro – it is an incredible tapestry of sound. The featured artist, Geri Soriano-Lightwood’s intriguing (but pleasing) voice lends just enough oddness to make this a perfect addition to Mythologie.
The following song “Once in a Lifetime” is notable because it’s so nostalgic. It reminds us of the 90s – the melody is predictable but pleasing and it progresses in waves, swelling as it rushes into the chorus. It is easy to imagine your favorite 90s pop star or boy band, Britney, JT, Aaron Carter, etc. singing a cleaner version of this song. It’s absolute ear candy.
The album’s closer, “Dark Visions,” (feat. Mimi Page) gives us the same vibes as “Blue Fires,” but it’s more bizarre. It’s as if Delerium has collected all the peculiar bits from the other songs and combined them to create this formless, beautiful track. It’s the perfect ending to a varied, if offbeat, album. Mythologie is a must-listen for anyone interested in genre-spanning music and female vocalists. It really uses each artist’s best qualities; knowing when to strip things down and when to almost over-produce the music. Mythologie is an amazing example of a consistent album for other genre-exploring artists who are looking to release.