Limited two disc edition of the group's 1997 album (which features guest vocals by Sarah McLachlan), plus bonus CD with ten tracks, 'Silence' (3 versions), 'Euphoria (Firefly)' (Rabbit In The Moon Mix), 'Flowers Become Screens' (Frequency Modulation Mix), 'Incantation' (12 Inch Mix Edit), 'Duende' (Bleak Desolation Mix) and 'Heavens Earth' (3 mix versions). A combined total of 21 tracks, also featuring the original version of the hit single 'Silence' with McLachlan singing the lead!
First released in 1989, much of FACES, FORMS & ILLUSIONS jettisons the rough-hewn bass sequencers of Front Line Assembly mainmen Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb's previous records for twilight electronic soundscapes that combine the gothic with the modern, the transcendent, and the darkly spiritual. Most of this album is solely the work of Bill Leeb, although Fulber and producer Michael Balch make significant contributions.
This album has very heavy percussion, and mixes them with haunting, and fleeting "ghost sound" synth samples. Like many of Delerium's early albums, it seems to tell a story, without words.
Although not the best Delerium CD I have ever heard, Stone Tower is quite effective in creating a dark and sinister ambient mood. In true Delerium style, half-heard voices echo across the speakers and there is the ocassional startling abrupt change in music so you're not lulled into only half-listening. I've found my reaction to Stone Tower different to that of other Delerium albums I have; while albums like Semantic Spaces and Karma are soothing and at times relaxing, Stone Tower is not, somewhat like the beginning of Spheres I, because there's an underlying sense of anxiety. Overall, it's not a great album to relax to, but it is fun, especially if you happen to be in a somewhat darker mood. Recommended for those who are already Delerium fans.
Semantic Spaces is best describes as the 'rebirth of Delerium' for it is a new awakening from their eerie darker days. And while the album starts out rather cold and emotionless it soon escalates to some deep electronic bass lines with (for the first time ever) soaring vocals by female singer Kristy Thirsk on "Flowers Become Screens". Then comes "Metaphor" with its ancient tribal chantings amidst synthy-electronic beats and mysterious female voices that sound a lot like something you'd find on their Future Primitives side-project by Intermix. "Consensual Worlds" probably comes the closest to their older sound with a droning undervoice that drags through some downright creepy sound effects while "Incantation" is probably their most upbeat song with funky trance beats accompanied, once again, by Kristy Thirsk, who sings a lot more often on their next album, Karma.
The second "mid range" Delerium album, Spheres 2 follows after its predecessor in creating a "space" sound. Its very lush music, with many deep ambient synth work - the stand outs being "Dimensional Space" and "Otherworld". Lots of obscure sci-fi quotes, create a feeling of traveling, sometimes of being lost in spaces. Best tracks in my opinion are the setup track "Morphology", the synthy "Dimensional Spaces" which makes you feel like you're discovering uncharted territory, the upbeat "Hypoxia" which seems to cap of some "drama in space" series, and "In Four Dimensions" because of the cool changes that take place in the tone of the song. HIGHLY recommended.
Ambient, sometimes dark beats fused with industrialised gregorian chants make this album a must for any hardcore Delerium fan. There are 6 tracks on the first volume all over 5 mins in lenth. It is a album that is probably meant for 100 years in the future. Leeb and Fulber got the mix right and the CD cover is perfect, the back showing our moon and the front Saturn and its splendid rings.