Archives Vols. 1 &. 2

BY Coreen WolanskiPublished Jul 1, 2002

Many moons ago in a land not too far away, Delerium were producing stuff a little different than what today's fans know and love. These two double-CD releases chronicle the life and times of Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb, and all they were doing between 1988 and 1998. And what better a time to share with fans this retrospective than after the momentous success of 1997's listener-friendly Karma? Sifting through eight albums' worth of work, we are given a taste of the roots of the duo and the developments leading up to their later sound. The first four albums (Faces, Forms and Illusions; Morpheus; Syrophenikon; and Stone Tower) clearly show Fulber's and Leeb's industrial ancestry - very minimal, percussive and lacking vocals, they feel more like a soundtrack. By the early '90s the pair began experimenting more with anthemic song structures and the sound that defines the Delerium of the later years. In the second volume (Spiritual Archives; Spheres; Spheres II; and Cryogenic Studio), the same themes are explored via songs roughly seven-plus minutes in length. A point of particular interest to gearheads is the distinct change in sound as the musical technology improved. What was once sparse and blippy becomes more polished and multifaceted. These are a great musical field trip for those whose knowledge of Delerium goes no further than Sarah McLachlan.

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