Delain-We Are The Others
For those of you not familiar with the Dutch band Delain they were formed in 2002 by former Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt and former To Elysium/Infernorama vocalist Charlotte Wessels. Now, it should be a no-brainer that in the hands of ex-Within Temptation member Martijn Westerholt the keyboard is used in such a majestic fashion that it reaches it's full capacity with ease. Saying they are lush arrangements would be a gross understatement. They are simply stunning. Equally stunning (talent wise although she is easy on the eyes as well) is vocalist Charlotte Wessels. As she has been trained in both jazz singing and classical singing she adds an unreal beauty to Delain that, while not too surprising given her skill-set, is as epic as it is charming. Usually symphonic metal bands are hit or miss for me. While the skill and beauty can be present there must also be an urgent sense of addictive appeal if I am to be kept interested. Delain seems to understand that concept well as on the band's third album the music seems to have been crafted in such a way as to maximize the appeal of symphonic metal. At that end the band enlisted a huge production team for the recording, including Jacob Hellner (Rammstein, Apocalyptica), Fredrik Thomander and Anders Wikstrom (Scorpions, Backyard Babies). This seems to have made all the difference as the extra elements (goth, alternative rock, traditional heavy metal,etc) that creep in, while not obvious upon first listen, bring out a variety of different feelings. Even the addition of Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell (as a guest on the album) seems aimed at making the album as varied as possible while still retaining the band's familiar sound and appeal. Joining Charlotte Wessels and Martijn Westerholt is bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije (ex-Detonation) guitarist Timo Somers (ex-Vengeance) and drummer Sander Zoer (ex-Nemesea) and the band, as a whole, emerge at the end of "We Are The Ones" strong and triumphant. Delain's third full-length studio effort is great from start to finish and a sign that the group is on the right track.