With their 13th album Depeche Mode has begun their relationship with Columbia Records. The veteran synth pop band has been through many highs and lows throughout their 30 years together. Highs like top of the chart albums and singles as well as sold out world tours. Lows like battles against addiction and cancer as well as changing musical tastes. They are still here and still going strong. Though they have been consistent in their adherence to a synth pop sound the British band’s music has always featured subtle influences from gospel music. On Delta Machine those influences are amped up. There are religious undertones everywhere. The lyrics, in songs written in partnership by band co-founders lead singer Dave Gahan and guitarist Martine Gore, are filled with allusions to faith, peace and God. They do all this without turning their collective back on the traditionally broody and dark nature of their music that fans have lapped up since the 1980s. They stay very “Depeche Mode” while at the same time sounding very modern. I will warn fans that for the most part most of the songs will take some time and multiple listens to grow on you. Catchy from the beginning, maybe other than “Welcome to My World”, they aren’t. Oddly enough the first single from the album, “Heaven”, is one of the weaker tracks. Fret not as they only get better from there on in.