Depeche Mode – 'Delta Machine' album review

A big, dark, dramatic record of a band confidently expanding on an established sound

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Depeche Mode – 'Delta Machine'

  • Rated as: 4/5

Are you ready to be pleasantly surprised? Depeche Mode’s new album is one of the best things they’ve ever recorded. ‘Delta Machine’ stands up next to ‘Violator’ (1990) and ‘Black Celebration’ (1986), and like those classic releases it’s a big, dark, dramatic record of a band confidently expanding on an established sound.

On ‘Delta Machine’ that means a whole hour of warped, distorted and fidgety synthesisers colliding with mutated blues guitar stomps. ‘Alone’ is a chilly, pulsing ballad, ‘Soothe My Soul’ a triple-time slammer, and on closing track ‘Goodbye’, guitars and synths alternate and then bleed into one another, making the last minute of the album an awesomely fuzzy electrical storm. Despite constant ill-health and a history of heroin addiction, Dave Gahan sings like a superhuman, howling on ‘Angel’ like two Nick Caves.

It’s not all good news. Martin Gore still doesn’t have the vocal swagger to carry off some of his more melodramatic lyrics, and Gahan’s song ‘Broken’ is a lazy rewrite of Gore’s excellent 1986 single ‘A Question of Time’. But ‘Delta Machine’ is thrilling and scarily immersive, and a welcome reminder that Depeche Mode haven’t lost their ability to shock.


Watch Depeche Mode's 'Heaven' video


Users say

9 comments
joblack
joblack

Broken=A Question of Time? If anything than "little 15"...

lockjaw
lockjaw

This album is just boring.. They didn't made good records since Songs Of Faith And Devotion it's clear, but this one is just crap.

vrusimov
vrusimov

I don't know WHERE the reviewer gets the idea that Broken is a Question of Time ripoff! It is too wistful, pristine and warm to be compared to anything on Black Celebration. The same thing is being said about Soothe My Soul and Angel. It seems everyone wants to flaunt meretriciously their long familiarity with the band's extensive catalog but upon closer inspection of these songs the truth is something different.

cschiefen
cschiefen

Do all reviews have to reference a past song whilst reviewing new material? I heard the "I Feel You" riff, roughly, in "Angel"...other than that, I heard no copycats. "Broken" is sorta a sweet, brooding pop tune, while "A Question of Time", even the fey single release version, is all driving & angst. Just dunno about reviewers anymore...

Tony
Tony

This is an incredible record! Two or three years from now, people will still be talking about this album. Masterpiece for sure!

Tony
Tony

This is an incredible record! Two or three years from now, people will still be talking about this album. Masterpiece for sure!

George
George

Brilliant album. Keep playing it.

Jason
Jason

Poor effort. Sonically great sounds, as always, but a lack of punch, and song structure let this album down. Too many slow ballads, and minimalist tunes. Only gets going on the occasional track such as Soothe My Soul

Listen to 'Delta Machine' on Spotify

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