Delain has made a startling announcement that most of the current lineup of the band has been disbanded, with only founder/keyboardist/composer Martijn Westerholt remaining. Martijn plans to “keep Delain alive” by taking it back to a project form, releasing new music with special guests. Apparently, all of the former bandmates will continue with music, with vocalist Charlotte Wessels going full-time with the solo project she launched on Patreon during the start pandemic.
Dutch symphonic metal five piece Delain have just released their highly anticipated fourth full-length output, which lyrically continues the well-received We Are The Others (2012). The more generic gothic metal of the early days has been replaced by a distinctive sound, which inclines more towards symphonic metal and is heavier, more melodic and more original than ever before in the career of the formation.
The quintet displays great attention to detail, the rhythm section of Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije (bass) and Sander Zoer (drums) lays a firm foundation for Timo Somers passionate fretwork, which lends Delain’s sound a very energetic vibe. Moreover, the band has paid particular attention to the vocals, which are a lot more varied then on previous releases.
On the one hand that is surely due to Charlotte Wessels diverse vocals, which are as sweet as they are powerful and manage to draw you in completely. Over the last years, the chanteuse’s voice has become considerably more distinct and expressive, making her much more mature as a vocalist and resulting in her best performance as yet.
On the other hand it’s down to the versatile input of the assembled guest musicians. Most prominent amongst them, certainly Nightwish’s Marco Hietala, whose intense voice forms a stark contrast to Charlotte’s more endearing tones and who provides the two songs he sings in (‘My Body Is A Battleground’, ‘Sing To Me’),with a rougher edge. A further highlight on the record are George Oosthoek’s powerful grunts in the philosophical ‘Tell Me, Mechanist’ and last but not least the impressive growls of Alyssia White-Gluz (Arch Enemy, ex-The Agonist), in the highly symphonic but at the same time rather heavy, ‘The Tragedy Of The Commons’, which are a true delight for every metal head.
The Human Contradiction (released on their new label home, Napalm Records) contains nine carefully crafted and evocative compositions, which strikingly display all of Delain’s trademarks, energetic riffing, catchy melodies and arresting female vocals, but also present some fresh elements. With keyboarder and mastermind Martijn Westerholt (ex-Within Temptation) back in the producer’s chair, the band has managed to fashion their best release to date, making you want to hit the repeat button over and over again.