Delerium is a band from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, formed in 1987, originally as a side project of the influential industrial music act, Front Line Assembly. Throughout the band’s history, their musical style has encompassed a broad range, including dark ethereal ambient, voiceless industrial soundscapes, and electronic pop music.
Delerium has traditionally been a two-person project, but the only constant member throughout its history has been Bill Leeb. Leeb was a guest musician and early supporter of industrial dance pioneers Skinny Puppy, but after he left in 1986, he went on to create his own project, Front Line Assembly, with collaborator Michael Balch. Later, the two worked on the side project Delerium and released their first album, Faces, Forms & Illusions. After Balch left both Front Line Assembly and Delerium, Leeb worked with Rhys Fulber, and the two released several albums under the Delerium moniker; these years saw a gradual stylistic change from darker ambient to a more danceable sound. After the release of Karma, Fulber left to pursue other interests, and Leeb teamed up with producer Chris Peterson to release Poem. 2003, however, saw the reunion of Leeb and Fulber for the release of Chimera, followed by Nuages du Monde in 2006.
In contrast to Leeb and collaborators' other projects, Delerium has included several guest vocalists since the release of Semantic Spaces. These have included mostly women, such as Kristy Thirsk, Sarah McLachlan, Leigh Nash (of Sixpence None the Richer), Lisa Gerrard (sampled only), Jaël (of Swiss band Lunik), Camille Henderson, Nerina Pallot, Emily Haines (of Metric), Jacqui Hunt (of Single Gun Theory) and Isabel Bayrakdarian. Other than Leeb. only two males have contributed vocals to a Delerium album: Matthew Sweet ("Daylight", on Poem) and Greg Froese ("Apparition", on Nuages du Monde); in addition, the noted griot Baaba Maal was sampled ("Awakenings, on "Spiritual Archives").
The Mediæval Bæbes provided the vocal track for, and starred in the video of, Aria; the vocals are an adapted version of the vocals from "All Turns to Yesterday" on the Bæbes' Worldes Blysse album. They are also featured on two tracks from Delerium's 2006 album, Nuages du Monde.
Although it may be argued that Front Line Assembly has the largest cult following of all Leeb and associates projects, Delerium is undoubtedly the most financially successful. In addition to these two mainstays, related projects of the Leeb, Fulber, Peterson, Balch family include Equinox, Intermix, Noise Unit, Pro-Tech, and Synæsthesia, among others. In addition, in 2007 Leeb and Fulber collaborated with Leigh Nash under the name Fauxliage, also Rhys Fulber maintains his solo project Conjure One since his temporary exit from Delerium.
Of Delerium's albums, Karma has garnered the most commercial success. Most listeners only know of Delerium from their work produced on the Nettwerk label, as they were relatively unknown in the pop-music scene before the release of Semantic Spaces.
Delerium's commercial success has hinged largely on the single entitled "Silence", which featured vocals by Sarah McLachlan. In 2000, three years after the original release of source album Karma, a number of remixes of "Silence", produced by DJ Tiësto, Airscape, Fade and others, proliferated throughout dance clubs; the interest generated took the single to #3 on the UK charts and gained considerable radio airplay for the song.
A milestone for the group came when they toured for the first time in 2003 (in contrast with Front Line Assembly, which has toured consistently throughout its career). Vocals were provided by Kristy Thirsk and Shelley Harland during that tour. In January 2005, Delerium performed at the One World benefit concert in Vancouver for the 2004 Asian tsunami, where "Silence" was performed live for the first time with Sarah McLachlan, who was also performing at the benefit.