After 30 years and with the release of their 13th album, Depeche Mode are as beautifully sonorous as they are time-tested. Returning producer Ben Hillier arranges a taut effort, complimenting Dave Gahan’s haunting baritone with arresting sound. Much of Delta Machine is audibly perfect. The only semblances of imperfection are left to personal taste. With straightforward techno jaunts like “My Little Universe” and penetrating industrial echoes like “Secret To The End,” the trio showcases their generational relevance of bleak outlook and synth expertise. At this point in their career, Depeche Mode and gloom are more than synonymous, rising to an artistic prestige in musicianship. At times the album is an exacting marksman, a hallowed priest and synesthetic painter, leveling many imitators as mere street performers. It’s difficult to shake the human response to go kick rocks after hearing “Angel.” The track is a howl of synth and sonic force, dropping its anger to a moving lullaby before abruptly returning to fuzz. It is brilliantly memorable in an already extensive canon. Dripping analogue effects scattered across an astral plane, Delta Machine reverberates in the chest and extends through the fingertips.
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