Devil's Review: Delain – We Are The Others

I am very selective when it comes to female singers in metal bands.  I am no fan of Nightwish and Arch Enemy is a bit too extreme in the female vocal department for me.  I think I can count on one hand (plus a finger maybe) the number of female vocalists I enjoy and that I can listen to more than a song or two by them.  Pretty much anything with Floor Jansen (Star One, After Forever, ReVamp) is involved with I have found to be enjoyable.  Annlouice from DSO is another that I can listen to consistently.  Arkona, Eluveitie, and Battlelore are also OK in my book.  Charlotte Wessels of Dutch Symphonic Metal band Delain is included as well.  I like these singers because they tend to be altos for the most part and don’t constantly sing in higher registers, providing a more powerful voice to music that needs it – metal.  Delain’s latest album, We Are The Others on Roadrunner, is essentially a showcase of Wessels’ vocals.

Martijn Westerholt, keyboardist and founder of the band, has experience with female fronted bands, as he was the keyboard player for Within Temptation.  He has continued here with Delain, writing melodic, yet heavy music that seems to be written for Wessels specifically.  All of the songs are slower to mid-paced in tempo with a pattern of some riffing and the guitars and keys playing chords backing up Wessels.  The songs do remind me of their previous album, April Rain, as they have the same sort of flow to them here, but the album comes across as somewhat darker.  The first three songs, Mother Machine, Electricity and title track We Are The Others start the album off nicely, giving the Symphonic Metal fan a pleasurable listen.  Clearly Wessels vocal stylings are on display, as the songwriting seems to evolve around her.

The next three songs, Milk and Honey, Hit Me With Your Best Shot (not the Pat Benetar tune), and I Want You, slow things down a bit (probably too much), and the album seems to lose some steam.  Where is the Blood, with Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, heavys things up again.  Frankly I enjoyed Marco Hietala’s guest appearance on April Rain better – his contribution just fit the music better – but Burton’s performance here is fine, especially if you enjoy the “beauty and the beast” type of compositions.  Of the last several tracks on the album, which are all well written and executed, songs Babylon and Get the Devil Out of Me are excellent, giving a nice kick to the conclusion of the work.

The version I have actually has four live tracks of previous material.  I am not much of a fan of live recordings, so this part doesn’t make or break the album for me.

Check out the video for Get the Devil Out of Me.

 The band has played up its strength in Charlotte Wessels and will do well to keep doing so in the future.  She certainly has some pop-like tendencies in her singing and, if you don’t mind it, pulls it off well.  She actually reminds me of Shania Twain.  I think Delain have given us a good Symphonic Metal album in We Are The Others, so if that is to your liking, I can definitely recommend this album to you.

I hear the sound in a METAL way.

-Harley

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4 responses to “Devil's Review: Delain – We Are The Others

  1. I know what you mean about finding a good match of female voices and metal music. The vocalist from DSO works well for me, and I always wished that Bonnie Tyler and Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls) did metal music. I think I could listen to them consistently. As for Delaine, this album is way too pop for me and pushes me away. Her voice does not have the power that I want for a metal band. The comparison to Shania Twain is good, and maybe Delaine could change genres and I might listen to her then.

  2. Thanks for reading! I think you are right that this album is very poppy, and more so than their last album. Frankly I am surprised they aren’t more popular, like along the lines of Evanesence.

    • They’re not more popular because the trend of female fronted gothic bands peaked about 4 years ago. and now the heavy hitters in the genre like Leaves Eyes, Nightwish, and Within Temptation have changed their styles drastically with most of the other pretenders fading out. Even Evanescence doesn’t have the same popularity they once did. There is still a market for it in Europe I suppose but it’s never really caught on much here in the States, then or now and probably never will.

      • You are probably right, Rob. Problem is, I don’t listen to many of those bands (have seen Leaves Eyes, Epica in the last couple of years). I guess I just don’t know how they have changed. Delain’s music, if executed with different instrumentation, could easily be a pop album, and could be more popular (i.e., radio friendly).

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