Where Delphic’s first album ‘Acolyte’ was a mesmerising guitar/synth blend that was arresting as it was accessible, the follow-up, ‘Collections’, sheds their distinct sound in favour of disappointing mediocrity.
Album opener ‘Of The Young’ apes Muse’s recent offerings and features a tribal rhythm that strives for a four-to-the-floor call to arms. But it’s just too dull, too generic, to warrant any sort of rousing energy that the likes of ‘Clarion Call’ did so well.
This lack of oomph sets the album up from the start. Lead single ‘Baiya’ carries the ironic lyric: “I was dead before I hit the floor” – only two tracks in and the album seems to seal its own fate as an instantly forgettable collection of songs that are uninspired, oddly paced and without much lyrical merit.
‘Changes’ plods along, changing gear so often that by the crescendo finish you’ve lost interest, acting as the first indication of some very cheap RnB influences that permeate the entire album. From here there’s the almost-got-it but ultimately disappointing ‘Freedom Found’ and weird guitar breakdowns in ‘Atlas’.
It gets weirder still on the home stretch. There’s the threat of a diva solo on ‘Don’t Let The Dreamers Take You Away’, finishing with some God-awful rapping on ‘Exotic’.
‘Collections’ sounds like Delphic are embarrassed of their previous work and are trying to fit into a popular clique where they just don’t belong.
This might seem unkind, but only because I know this is a band capable of better.
It’s an old tune but Delphic set the bar high and were always at risk of the difficult second album pressure. Ultimately, in trying not to sound the same as before, they’ve lost their identity.
Some of the sounds here are quite cool in isolation but the execution just feels like a bit of a mess. Fortunately, the calibre of their previous work means we’re not going to give up on them just yet.