18 Songs, 1 Hour, 15 Minutes


Delta Machine is the 13th studio album from the pioneering synth-pop and electro group Depeche Mode. Songwriter Martin Gore described it as a hybrid of Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion. The single “Heaven” confirms these comparisons—it's full of shadowy, slow-drip synthesizer, buzzing guitar, and David Gahan’s primal vocal treatment.


Delta Machine is the 13th studio album from the pioneering synth-pop and electro group Depeche Mode. Songwriter Martin Gore described it as a hybrid of Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion. The single “Heaven” confirms these comparisons—it's full of shadowy, slow-drip synthesizer, buzzing guitar, and David Gahan’s primal vocal treatment.

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Customer Reviews

4 out of 5

1789 Ratings

To Whom It May Concern....


For those that feel Depeche has lost its genius and that their music is not the same....I don't want it to be the same. Each new release has been like a perfectly wrapped gift on its own merit. DM continues to make kickass music, sellout concerts, and have a faithful following all over the world. Their songs take you to a place in this world that no other band can come close to. I thank my lucky stars that DM has stood the test of time and still makes new music that people can relate to. I fear the day they stop making music....there's no one like DM!

Same Hype, Same Disappointment

Strawbury Field,

I love Depeche Mode, so it pains me to write this review.

I read late last year that they said Delta Machine has the same "vibe" as Violator. I can only assume this comment is coming from something more of a personal level because this album is nothing like Violator to my eager ears. The cover is red, white, and black. That is the only similarity I've found.

I (and I'm sure we) have been pining for a return to their creative peak in the era of Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion. Alas, it is becoming more apparent that Depeche Mode is afflicted with the musical equivalent of Alzheimer's Disease: we see a spark of who they were every once in a great while, but then the blankness returns.

While a lot of the songs we've come to love over the decades have a minimalist sensibility, they were still rich with content, brilliant melodies, addicting hooks, and the energy of youth and passion. With the acceptation of a few gems here and there, every album since SoFD have been counterfeit art. There are elements that remind me of the artist, but something critical is missing and makes it obviously not genuine.

Delta Machine is no acceptation. This album is slow, stuttering, clumsy and while there are some interesting experimentations with equaling the volume of the vocal harmonies to the vocal melodies, the album ultimately fails to capture my soul. The sounds are all modern, almost like a How to Destroy Angels album, but the love isn't there. Rarely do I want to hear something again, but yet I find myself sifting for gold flakes where bars were promised. I find myself lowering my expectations after every foolish hope, only to be suckered back in with the anticipation of another chance.

At least now I expect the cycle to repeat in 3 to 4 years. This long goodbye has been 20 years long and the tired sounds have made me tired. We will just have to keep hoping and dreaming that Alan Wilder will return to snap the remaining members out of it, as if that were truly the cure, but it's unlikely we will ever find out.

About Depeche Mode

Originally a product of Britain's new romantic movement, Depeche Mode went on to become the quintessential electro pop band of the 1980s. One of the first acts to establish a musical identity based completely around the use of synthesizers, they began their existence as a bouncy dance-pop outfit but gradually developed a darker, more dramatic sound that ultimately positioned them as one of the most successful alternative bands of their era.

The roots of Depeche Mode date to 1976, when Basildon, England-based keyboardists Vince Clarke and Andrew Fletcher first teamed to form the group No Romance in China. The band proved short-lived, and by 1979 Clarke had formed French Look, another duo featuring guitarist/keyboardist Martin Gore; Fletcher soon signed on, and the group rechristened itself Composition of Sound. Initially, Clarke handled vocal chores, but in 1980 singer David Gahan was brought in to complete the lineup. After one final name change to Depeche Mode, the quartet members jettisoned all instruments excluding their synthesizers, honing a slick, techno-based sound to showcase Clarke's catchy melodies.

After building a following on the London club scene, Depeche Mode debuted in 1980 with "Photographic," a track included on the Some Bizzare Album label compilation. After signing to Mute Records, they issued "Dreaming of Me" in early 1981; while neither the single nor its follow-up, "New Life," caused much of a stir, their third effort, "Just Can't Get Enough," became a Top Ten U.K. hit, and their 1981 debut LP, Speak and Spell, was also a success. Just as Depeche Mode appeared poised for a major commercial breakthrough, however, principal songwriter Clarke abruptly exited to form Yazoo with singer Alison Moyet, leaving the group's future in grave doubt.

As Gore grabbed the band's songwriting reins, the remaining trio recruited keyboardist Alan Wilder to fill the technological void created by Clarke's departure. While 1982's A Broken Frame deviated only slightly from Depeche Mode's earlier work, Gore's ominous songs grew more assured and sophisticated by the time of 1983's Construction Time Again. Some Great Reward, issued the following year, was their artistic and commercial breakthrough, as Gore's dark, kinky preoccupations with spiritual doubt ("Blasphemous Rumours") and psychosexual manipulation ("Master and Servant") came to the fore; the egalitarian single "People Are People" was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic and typified the music's turn toward more industrial textures.

Released in 1986, the atmospheric Black Celebration continued the trend toward grim melancholy and further established the group as a commercial force; it eventually sold over 500,000 copies in the U.S., which earned it gold status. Released in 1987, Music for the Masses, featuring three Hot 100 singles in "Strangelove," "Never Let Me Down Again," and "Behind the Wheel," propelled the group into the mainstream. The album would sell over a million copies in the U.S. alone. A subsequent sold-out tour yielded the 1989 double live set 101. Recorded at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, it was accompanied by a concert film directed by the legendary D.A. Pennebaker.

With the alternative music boom of the early '90s, Depeche Mode emerged as one of the world's most successful acts. The triple-platinum Violator, released in 1990, was a Top Ten smash that spawned the hits "Personal Jesus" (a number eight single), "Enjoy the Silence," "Policy of Truth," and "World in My Eyes." Their 1993 LP Songs of Faith and Devotion -- featuring a significant change in its heavy use of electric guitars -- entered the charts in the number one slot. However, at the peak of its success, the group began to unravel, beginning with Wilder's 1995 exit. Gahan attempted to take his own life and later entered a drug rehabilitation clinic to battle an addiction to heroin.

After a four-year layoff, Depeche Mode continued onward as a trio and released 1997's Ultra, which featured the hits "Barrel of a Gun" and "It's No Good." A year later, the band embarked on a tour in support of its newly released hits album, The Singles 86>98. Depeche Mode played 64 shows in 18 countries for over one million fans. Each member took some considerable time off after the tour's completion, and Depeche Mode would not regroup for another three years.

Exciter, the band's follow-up to Ultra, was released in 2001, with the singles "Dream On" and "I Feel Loved" finding moderate success on international radio outlets. Two years later, Gahan issued his debut solo album, the dark and sultry Paper Monsters. Gore also followed suit by issuing the all-covers Counterfeit², a full-length sequel to his similarly themed 1989 EP. Each member supported his work with respective tours of the U.S. and Europe; however, the bandmembers soon resumed working together, and Playing the Angel, their 11th studio album, became a Top Ten hit upon its release in October 2005. Produced by Ben Hillier (Doves, Blur, U2, Elbow) and studded with singles like "Precious" and "John (The Revelator)," it topped the album charts in 18 countries and went multi-platinum and/or gold in 20 countries. Depeche Mode went on to play for more than two and a half million fans worldwide, and the 2006 video release Touring the Angel: Live in Milan captured one of the band's greatest shows.

Sounds of the Universe, also made with the assistance of Ben Hillier, arrived in early 2009 and debuted at number three in the U.S. The 2013 release of Delta Machine made for a trilogy of Hillier albums, while the album was mixed by longtime Depeche associate Flood. The concert film and album Live in Berlin (directed by Anton Corbijn from a late-2013 show) followed in November 2014. The band returned in early 2017 with their 14th studio effort, Spirit. The album's material was largely inspired by the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and was produced by Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford (Foals, Arctic Monkeys). ~ Jason Ankeny & Andy Kellman

    Basildon, Essex, England

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