Based in Normandy (France) Deleyaman is an international band grouping together a French, an American, a Swedish and an Armenian member. It took them nearly 3 years to achieve this 25 track 4th full length album. That’s why they decided to split up this 4th cd in 2 different parts. The 2nd part will be released later on while we here get enough stuff to enjoy the debut part of “Fourth”. The sound of Deleyaman has seriously evolved over the years, but it remains an experience of ambient, ethereal and tribal influences. There’s a kind of multi-cultural expression running through their songs, which is reinforced by the use of the languages. The main songs have been sung in English, but you still get 2 songs sung in Armenian language and one in French. The lyrical content has been mainly inspired by American poetry (referring to poets like E.A. Robinson, E.A. Poe, A. Hecht, R.W. Emerson, H. Crane and T. Stickney) while the French song was taken from a poem from French poet T. de Banville. The lyrical content is definitely artistic but the music totally fits with its emotional part. You sometimes get the impression of listening to a kind of soundtrack project and the least I can say is that it would be a cool album in the genre. But “Fourth” goes further than the simple soundtrack style, assimilating very different influences. One of the main characteristics is for sure the wafting sensation when discovering their music. The music sounds light and prosper while accentuated now by tribal rhythms, then by psychedelic guitar playing, to get recovered by fragile vocals. Some moods of sadness grip the listener, but a few tracks further you feel as though embraced by a dreamy atmosphere. I can’t really compare Deleyaman to any other band, but they definitely have their place in the wider fields of ambient and ethereal music. The Armenian songs can maybe remind some of the atmospheres from Dead Can Dance, but there’s no further link possible. In comparison with their debut-cd “00/1” released in 2001 this band made a considerable evolution gaining much more maturity and having developed their very own sound! Last but not least, this album has been released in a sober, but cool digipak format including a booklet with the texts and illustrations.
By the fourth album, I thought it was about time to jump on the DELEYAMAN train. Since I haven’t heard their previous material, except from some samples via MySpace and LastFM, I can’t really tell if this is their best album so far. What I can say, tho, is that this is really good and if you, like myself, are pretty unfamiliar with DELEYAMAN, try this one out!
What I’m experiencing while listening, is a very interesting and rather unique kind of dark, folk influenced rock music with accentuation on folk. Deep, dark flutes (duduk) carry me to far-away countries in the East and the splendid vocals, both male and female, makes me think of DEAD CAN DANCE. The album is filled with soft extremely agile guitar plucks and a totally dreamy mood.
DELEYAMAN has members from several different cultures and countries; France, America, Sweden, Turkey, and this is something that they’re using to their advantage in creating their beautiful and groundbreaking music.
The quality overall is high. I don’t mind listening to the entire disc without skipping a single track. There are a few, though, that I can’t get enough of including ”Stay On” with its gentle guitar chords and soothing vocals by Aret.
”Be Still” is another one, pretty much piano based and with schooled vocals by Beatrice. It’s sad, yet romantic.
If DELEYAMAN were forced to pick out one song from here and release as a single, my vote lands on ”Temples”, a little more rough gothic rock song with sweeping electric guitars and a splendid drum beat to accompany Aret’s mournful, expressive vocals through some of the most evocative lyrics I’ve read in a while. To top this, this song also contains the albums absolutely best chorus part. Magnificent I say.
My last track of choice follows right behind and is a short instrumental piece where the duduk is the central source of sound. I remember when I first listened to it, I put it on repeat and referred to it as ”the best flute I’ve ever heard” for the rest of that day.
So, not one single word of criticism? Well, I’ve had a great day in other words. And for sure, I won’t be late to go purchase DELEYAMAN’s previous recordings. ”Fourth - Part One” makes me understand that I have to hear more but I can’t wait for the second part to show up.