Monday, 4 June 2012

Review: Delain - We Are the Others

 When former Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt formed symphonic metallers Delain in 2002 with Dutch singer Charlotte Wessels, there was undoubtedly cynicism towards the band. After all, as Within Temptation rose to greater heights, Delain were in honesty, making pretty much the same music. So, with Delain forever living in the shadow of Westerholt's former band, there's always been a desire from fans for them to rise up and finally have a performance on par with Within Temptation. So, on their long-awaited third album We Are the Others it must be asked, have they crafted a work to put them up there?

 Well, once again, the cynical notion regarding Delain exists that they are essentially the same band as Within Temptation. We Are the Others shows nothing new being brought to the symphonic metal table. They deal in the kind of riff-driven symphonic metal, with song like the massive title track and Hit Me With Your Best Shot containing hooks as infectious as the... Spanish flu, I guess. As the band's driving songwriting style where the hooks are blended beautifully by crunching metallic riffs from Timo Somers and fresh sweeping synthesizers from Westerholt charge up Generation Me and Get the Devil Out of Me with an extra crushing industrial slickness.
 With the mixture of industrial elements and frantic groove assaults in Where Is the Blood?, it's only all too appropriate that it would feature the main vocal appearance of the album from Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, in which the striking contrast between the gothic tinged operatic vocals of Wessels and the ferocious growls of Bell makes the performance even more intriguing and captivating.
 With a collection of songs filled with metallic riffs, poppy hooks and gripping symphonic and steel plated electronic backdrops, the majority of We Are the Others is made up. Certainly, the hooks are kept up and make the album as energetic and fun throughout but there's little extra variety beyond that. I Want You builds up as a metallic ballad but with frequent repetition of "I want you/ I want your (noun)", it get's a little grating after a while.
 So, to return to my brutal honesty, I don't believe that We Are the Others will put Delain on par with Within Temptation, but it will prove their ability to make solid symphonic metal is as genuine as ever. With massive hooks, epic riffs and gripping backdrops, it's definitely a work of traditional symphonic metal that will appeal to the legions of fans of the genre. It's not as extreme as Epica, or even Nightwish and Within Temptation need not worry about their position as the rulers of symphonic metal, but Delain show they have what it takes to make a symphonic belter.

 Delain's We Are the Others is out now via Roadrunner.

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