DELAIN

Symphonic Metal • Netherlands
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Delain is a symphonic metal band, formed in Zwolle, Netherlands in 2002. The band currently consists of Charlotte Wessels (vocals), Timo Somers (guitars), Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije (bass), Martijn Westerholt (keyboards), and Sander Zoer (drums).

Delain was founded by Martijn Westerholt who was previously the pianist of Within Temptation as well as being the brother of Robert Westerholt, one the band's founders. He left Within Temptation in 2001 after contracting Pfeiffer's disease. He started Delain in 2002. The band released a demo entitled "Amenity" in 2002. The band started recording their debut album "Lucidity" in July 2005, after they had signed a contract with Roadrunner Records.

At the end of 2007 Delain stated that they intend to release a second album in 2008, so far, the band has begun playing two new songs live: "Stay Forever" & "Start Swimming". In November 2008, it was announced that the new album
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DELAIN Discography

DELAIN albums / top albums

DELAIN Lucidity album cover 3.64 | 7 ratings
Lucidity
Symphonic Metal 2006
DELAIN April Rain album cover 3.07 | 7 ratings
April Rain
Symphonic Metal 2009
DELAIN We are the Others album cover 3.25 | 6 ratings
We are the Others
Symphonic Metal 2012
DELAIN The Human Contradiction album cover 3.57 | 5 ratings
The Human Contradiction
Symphonic Metal 2014
DELAIN Moonbathers album cover 3.92 | 4 ratings
Moonbathers
Symphonic Metal 2016
DELAIN Apocalypse & Chill album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Apocalypse & Chill
Symphonic Metal 2020

DELAIN EPs & splits

DELAIN Lunar Prelude album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Lunar Prelude
Symphonic Metal 2016

DELAIN live albums

DELAIN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DELAIN Amenity album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Amenity
Symphonic Metal 2002
DELAIN Shattered album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Shattered
Symphonic Metal 2007
DELAIN Stay Forever album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stay Forever
Symphonic Metal 2009
DELAIN April Rain album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
April Rain
Symphonic Metal 2009
DELAIN Nothing Left album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nothing Left
Symphonic Metal 2010

DELAIN re-issues & compilations

DELAIN Interlude album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Interlude
Symphonic Metal 2013

DELAIN singles (7)

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See Me in Shadow
Symphonic Metal 2007
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Frozen
Symphonic Metal 2007
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The Gathering
Symphonic Metal 2008
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Smalltown Boy
Symphonic Metal 2009
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Get the Devil Out of Me
Symphonic Metal 2012
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The Glory and the Scum
Symphonic Metal 2016
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Fire with Fire
Symphonic Metal 2016

DELAIN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

DELAIN Reviews

DELAIN Apocalypse & Chill

Album · 2020 · Symphonic Metal
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DippoMagoo
In a recent review, I commented on the importance of naming an album, and how some bands tend to be more creative with their album titles, while others tend to play it fairly safe. I’ve seen plenty of interesting album titles in recent years, as well as plenty of forgettable ones, but one that instantly raised my eyebrows upon seeing it is Apocalypse & Chill. Yep, that is indeed the title of Dutch symphonic metal band Delain’s sixth full-length release, and it sure is a strange one. Oddly enough, though, upon listening to the album, the name actually starts to make more sense, as it both gives an idea of what to expect from the lyrical concepts, as well as accurately describing the music pretty well.

I’ve long seen Delain as a band that consistently releases some very good albums, and I’d definitely consider them one of the more important symphonic metal bands in the world at this point, but I find their albums never quite reach the levels of some of my favorites in the genre. This continues with Apocalypse & Chill, though I do think it’s one of their most consistent releases to date, as well as by far their most interesting and unique.

Stylistically, Delain has always struck a nice balance between heaviness, light symphonic elements and beautiful vocals from Charlotte Wessels. Apocalypse & Chill takes all of these elements to the extreme, with almost every track alternating between some of their most aggressive guitar work to date, as well as having some of their catchiest, most melodic choruses and vocal sections, and while the symphonic elements still aren’t as grand as the likes of Nightwish or Epica, there are some pretty big arrangements on some tracks. For the majority of the album, the band alternates nicely between some pretty modern sounding, at times brutal guitar work, and some very nice keyboards, which are at times very flashy and modern, while at other times they’re more relaxing and atmospheric. While all musicians do a great job, it’s clear keyboardist Martijn Westerholt and vocalist Charlotte Wessels are the main focus of the album, with both delivering their absolute best performances to date. As usual, the production is fantastic, with all instruments sounding clear and powerful, and whenever orchestration is used, it’s mixed in perfectly with everything else.

While Delain has always had great musicianship and excellent vocals, I find their songwriting is generally solid, but not quite top tier. This continues somewhat with Apocalypse & Chill, though I do think this album is possibly their most consistent release yet, as while there’s only one track I’d consider a masterpiece, there are no weak tracks, and every song is great in its own way. The album opens with “One Second”, which is either the second or third single released depending on how you view things (I’ll explain in more detail later.) Either way, it’s a nice, fairly simple track, where the guitar work is heavy, but in a fairly subtle, understated way, with some very flashy keys being the main focus of the music, while Wessels is accompanied on vocals by guitarist Timo Somers, who delivers some very powerful slightly animated vocals during the chorus, where he excels. It’s a solid track on its own, and it gets the album off to a nice start.

Next is “We Had Everything”, a rather fun and upbeat track, which has some very nice, trance infused keys, which again drive the music, though the guitar work is a bit more prominent here, and it does get pretty heavy in between vocal sections. Wessels shines on this track, singing very lightly during the verses, utilizing her higher register, and then delivering some very soft and smooth vocals during the fun and catchy chorus. The instrumental work is nice throughout the track, with the guitar solo in the second half, in particular, being very melodic and epic at the same time. Things slow down slightly with “Chemical Redemption”, a track that again alternates nicely between some crushing riffs and rather light keys, with the verses, in particular, using the keys more for atmosphere and extra flavor, while the chorus is nice but a bit understated compared to most other tracks on the album. The highlight of the track is a very melodic, very beautiful guitar solo, which leads into some pretty epic orchestral arrangements.

The second (or first) single from the album is “Burning Bridges”, and to me, this stands as by far the best on the album, as it utilizes on aspects of the band’s sound perfectly, and I’d say it’s one of the band’s absolute best songs to date. It opens with more brutal guitar work, accompanied by some epic symphonic arrangements, which carry on throughout the track. The verses move by at a quick pace, with some rather light guitar work, powerful lead vocals, and more epic orchestral backing, and then the chorus comes and is absolutely fantastic and extremely epic, with some of the best vocals I’ve ever heard from Wessels. The real highlight, though, comes in after the second run through the chorus, where some very intense and powerful harsh vocals are used, for the first and only time on the album, and that’s followed by an epic instrumental section, where the orchestral elements are really pushed to the front. While I do think the track hints at elements that could have been used more throughout the album, I also think that only having them on this track helps it to stand out a lot more, and ultimately, it ends up feeling like the one track where everything just comes together perfectly.

After that stunner of a track, “Vengeance” is a bit more typical, though still pretty fun. It moves along a solid pace, with some rather light and melodic guitar work, as well as more symphonic arrangements. The catch to this track is that vocal duties are split between Wessels and Beast in Black vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos, who sounds as wild and energetic as always. The two work together well, which makes for a fun chorus, and while track overall isn’t spectacular, it is a lot of fun. Another standout is “To Live is to Die”, which utilizes some very futuristic sounding, industrial style keys, which serve as the main driving force, though the guitar work is also fairly heavy at points. It’s a pretty dark and atmospheric track, with Wessels again delivering some very powerful and emotional vocals. One track which really demonstrates the concept of the album well is “Let’s Dance”, with some rather grim lyrics being overlapped with repeated proclamations of “it’s a beautiful day”. While it does make for an interesting effect and is an interesting idea, I do find the repetition to be a bit much, and so the verses are rather irritating to sit through. The chorus is quite fun and catchy, though, the very heavy guitar work is quite good, so the track still ends up being solid, overall, if not one of my favorites.

More heavy guitar work follows on “Creatures”, which comes pretty close to sounding like later Evergrey during its intro, though it does soften up a bit during the verses, with some very dark sounding keys, and the track overall has a rather bleak feel to it, which is somewhat countered by beautiful vocals, and an excellent chorus. It’s yet another track where the whole “Apocalypse & Chill” idea fits in quite well. The one ballad of the album is “Ghost House Heart”, either the third or fourth single. It’s another very atmospheric track, which makes nice use of some soft piano work, and more orchestral arrangements. It’s a very nice track, with some great moments, but it never fully takes off, instead simply remaining a solid track throughout. The first track released from the album is “Masters of Destiny”. However, whether or not it’s actually the first single is debatable, as it was originally released as a single for the early 2019 EP Hunter’s Moon. Either way, it’s easily the most epic track on the album, with the orchestrations and choral vocals being pushed to the max, while the guitar work is fairly subtle and not the main focus. Instead, it serves as an excellent vocal showcase for Wessels, who delivers some of her most powerful vocals to date, especially during the spectacular chorus.

The last heavier track on the album is “Legions of the Lost”, another excellent track, which alternates nicely between heavy guitars, soft verses, a very melodic and beautiful chorus, and it mixes in some very nice keys and orchestral elements, at times. The last vocal track is “The Greatest Escape”, a softer track, which almost feels like a ballad during the verses, where Wessels is accompanied only by some light keys, though it does become slightly heavier and more upbeat during the chorus, which is quite beautiful. Closing out the album is a full-length instrumental track, “Combustion”, which is, in fact, the longest track on the album. It’s a very beautiful track, once again moving from some soft sections with some very nice keys and piano, as well as having some very heavy guitars, especially in the middle. It has plenty of memorable moments, and it certainly closes the album out quite effectively.

Despite the rather strange name, Apocalypse & Chill is another great album from Delain, which showcases all aspects of the band very well, alternating between some very heavy, modern guitar work, to some rather flashy, upbeat keys, some epic orchestrations, some very catchy choruses and vocal melodies, and some very beautiful sections. Fans of the band are sure to be pleased with the album, while any symphonic metal fans looking for a fun album with some great vocals would also be highly recommended to give this album a listen, as Delain has proven themselves to once again be a consistently great band.

originally written for myglobalmind.com: https://myglobalmind.com/2020/02/08/delain-apocalypse-chill-review/

DELAIN Moonbathers

Album · 2016 · Symphonic Metal
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adg211288
Delain, a symphonic metal band from the Netherlands, are the sort of band where if I had a hat I'd have to eat it, as I'd written them off a couple of albums ago as a band that I was never going to enjoy. Then along came The Human Contradiction (2014) and it was clear that Delain had really stepped up their game and I ended up positively surprised by the album. So I've been interested to hear how their music may continue to evolve since then and Moonbathers (2016) is the result. The band have expanded their line-up to six members since the album with the introduction of a second guitarist, Merel Bechtold (also of Purest of Pain and MaYaN). Moonbathers also sees a guest vocal from Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy, ex-The Agonist) on its first track, Hands of Gold. She also appeared on The Human Contradiction. The album additionally includes a cover of the Queen song Scandal while fans may already be familiar with a couple of the album's tracks which were also featured on the EP Lunar Prelude (2016).

It's pretty easy to try to compare Delain with what Within Temptation does. After all Delain was formed by Martijn Westerholt (keyboards), whose brother is Robert Westerholt, guitarist/harsh vocalist of Within Temptation and was in the band himself before having to quit for health reasons. Maybe some of Delain's earlier work could have been put on the same page as the commercial sounding symphonic metal that Within Temptation currently makes, but in a reversal of situations Delain actually seems to be moving further and further away from that sort of thing, even more so with Moonbathers than ever before. Though still very different bands, I feel as if Moonbathers is a step towards what a band like Epica produces, especially in regard to some of the instrumental work featured on the album, as heard in a track such as The Glory and the Scum. Now, I love me a bit of Within Temptation regardless of era, they're very good at what they do, but I can only see this as a positive thing for Delain. It makes them more interesting to listen to – my issue with their early work was not that I thought it was bad, more like unremarkable. Whereas these days they hold my attention much, much better.

So on that note I think it's safe to say that I find Moonbathers to be the most accomplished Delain album yet. Issues that I still had with The Human Contradiction have been improved upon here, especially their actual symphonic elements which I find much better this time, with some nice melodies and powerful bits. They do of course include an obligatory softer ballad in the form of Chrysalis - The Last Breath and some parts, notably the Queen cover, still push towards a commercial sound, but I think that's to be expected with some metal genres more than others, symphonic being one of them, though to my ears Delain have thrown off the more alternative metal elements that were present on the last album with Moonbathers. I certainly can't help but be drawn into infectious anthemic tracks like Suckerpunch, but it's ones like The Glory and the Scum, Hands of Gold and Fire With Fire that hit the spot the most.

Moonbathers is not a perfect album by any means. Apart from Alissa White-Gluz's vocals on Hands of Gold I don't find the other uses of harsh vocals on the album to be that strong and as such I don't feel that they add as much of an extreme metal edge as the band seem to be going for, and most of the time I don't feel that their songs need it either, as lead singer Charlotte Wessels handles the songs well on her own. But it is Delain's best album to date that the first one that's really drawn me into giving it several quick successive listens (in fact I've already played this one more than any other Delain album); I did enjoy The Human Contradiction quite a lot, but it wasn't able to hook me quite like this one has.

DELAIN The Human Contradiction

Album · 2014 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
The Human Contradiction (2014) is the fourth full-length album by Dutch symphonic metal act Delain. Like with the first two Delain releases The Human Contradiction features guest vocals from Nightwish/Tarot vocalist Marco Hietala, as well as former The Agonist and current Arch Enemy vocalist Alissa White-Gluz, former Orphanage growler George Oosthoek and finally Oliver Philipps of the progressive rock/metal act Everon. The latter also provided some additional guitars for the album as did regular Delain collaborator Guus Eikens (also formerly of Orphanage) while some additional drums have been performed by Within Temptation's Mike Coolen and fill-in live drummer Ruben Israël.

I think that we all have bands that, despite belonging to a genre we really enjoy, we just don't like, for whatever reason. For me the genre is symphonic metal and the band is Delain. Despite what I've heard from them being comparable to Within Temptation up to a point, and Within Temptation being one of the best symphonic metal acts in my opinion, I haven't really been able to enjoy the Delain past releases that I've tried. I don't hate them by any means but I have found them boring. Because of this I very nearly overlooked The Human Contradiction, despite receiving a promo invite for it. After all us reviewers get a lot of promo releases, more than we can humanly review so why dedicate the time to something you're sure you're not going to enjoy? Well the clincher was that a friend of mine happened to see the band live supporting Within Temptation and was very impressed by them. The promo copy was sitting there and as The Human Contradiction isn't an overlong album at 42 minutes I figured I really didn't have anything to lose by giving Delain a clean slate and another go.

Well I was certainly in for a pleasant surprise. The Human Contradiction is easily the best Delain release I've tried yet. Stylistically the band differs from the normal symphonic metal approach in that they have a bit more modern alternative metal influence to their guitar riffs. Symphonic metal releases that don't have at least a few elements of something else are actually rare, but compared to the usual suspects of power metal or gothic metal elements Delain does stand out on The Human Contradiction as having that little something different. It isn't exactly major; although less overtly poppy my earlier comparison to Within Temptation is still more or less valid. It's easy to tell the work of the two band's apart though, we're not talking a clone act here. Singer Charlotte Wessels in particular has a very different vocal tone to Within Temptation's Sharon den Adel and a non-operatic way of singing that adds to the album's alternative metal vibes and further sets the release apart from the more numerous operatic voiced acts.

Although it is a major step in the right direction, with tracks such as Here Come the Vultures, My Masquerade, Army of Dolls and The Tragedy of the Commons standing out the most I still must say that I feel Delain are on the lower end of all the symphonic metal acts whose music I've listened to, but they are now at least an act I can say I've finally managed to enjoy. The Human Contradiction is light years ahead of everything else I've heard from Delain up until this point. My major issue with it really is that their symphonic elements aren't always as grand as they could be, although there certainly are some good examples of them as in Sing to Me. I'm otherwise impressed with the songs on the album, especially with the way there are different moods on offer ranging from the catchy to the extreme metal influenced and it's left me really keen to hear how the band might expand on the sound of the album in the future.

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