Archive for Charlotte Wessel

Delain – We Are The Others

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 6th June 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Delain
We Are The Others
Symphonic Metal
Released: June 2012
Released via Roadrunner Records

Delain, founded by former Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt and ex-To Elysium frontwoman Charlotte Wessels, have become one the most recognised symphonic metal bands in recent years. The band have toured extensively around the globe and have played high profile festivals such as Wacken Open Air and Sonisphere. Up until recently, Delain were touring in support of their newest release: We Are The Others.

The album starts with eerie, almost Gothic and industrial sounding introduction of Mother Machine, which creates somewhat of a mystifying and enchanting atmosphere as the eerie keyboard section and machine-like sounds progress into the fierce guitar riffs. The drums are almost machine-like while the vocals are sultry but ghostly, a strange combination, to say the least but it works. The melodic parts are unexpected but a welcome addition to the song. Electricity begins with a solemn keyboard intro before the guitars kick in, bringing a heavy but laid back sound to the song. The vocals breathe a lot of life into the song, straying it from becoming dull. The keyboard sections, and the guitar solo, are the parts that stand out the most, however. The title track, We Are The Others, begins with a catchy and memorable hook in the form of a keyboard section. The guitar riffs add a lot of emphasis to the keyboards, bringing that hopeful and uplifting sound and atmosphere to the song. The child-like choir brings a quite spine-chilling effect to the track but it fits in well with the piano medley and Charlotte’s vocals. Milk And Honey strays from the sounds of the previous track, starting with an odd synthesiser section that gradually brings it into something more industrial metal based. Fortunately, the track does contain an essence of Delain’s symphonic metal sound as well.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot, overall, is very symphonic rock orientated, straying away from the band’s usual sound. The differing synth and keyboard medleys add a certain level of emotion, which contrasts with the somewhat bland guitar riffs. The vocals are very poignant, working well with the more emotional sounding synth and keyboard sections. The sober combination of vocals and piano, that makes up the intro of I Want You, masterfully paints a tragic, romantic image of emotion. The keyboard sections ring out a very classical sound and the guitars are heavier and more exciting than the previous track. Where Is The Blood might sound like the title of a cheesy vampire film but the song is far from being cheesy. The track features Fear Factory frontman Burton C. Bell, whose vocals add a very aggressive touch to both the song and the chorus. The track rings out a histrionic and fervid sound that is reflected well in the guitars and keyboards. The chorus is memorable, catchy and has a great hook, though it does feel lyrically limited.

Following after is the atmospheric song Generation Me. The strongest point of the song, without a doubt are the keyboard sections. The vocal work isn’t overly impressive or exciting, with most of the energy and excitement being generated by the symphonic musings of the track. Babylon brings a very sinister aspect to the album, with a very evil sound echoing from the guitar and bass work. The lyrics and vocals paint some very sombre imagery as the song progresses on. Following in a similar vein to the last song, Are you Done With Me has a very cold and dark sound, one that even Charlotte’s vocals fail to bring some amount of warmth to. The vocals sound rather diverse, compared to how they’ve been on the vast majority of the album. The intro for Get The Devil Out Of Me rings in similar veins to that of Nightwish though the guitar and vocal sections that follow are typically that of Delain. The keyboard riffs add a dash of freshness to the song, keeping it from turning completely stale. The album finishes with the more symphonic rock-orientated Not Enough that follows down the same musical routes as the vast majority of the album. The vocals are the only part of the song that have some life to them, as the rest of the track seems very bland and flavourless in comparison.

Judging by what I’ve heard from the first two albums by Delain, I see why they’ve got to the point they’re at and why they’re one of the most successful female fronted acts on the scene, however We Are The Others doesn’t do the band any justice. The album, for the most part, is bland and almost every track sounds like the previous one, save for the odd track like Where Is The BloodMother Machine and Babylon. The album is worth adding to the collection for any hardcore Delain fan but I don’t think the band will win over any new fans with this.

2.5/5

Nico Davidson

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We Are The Others [Delain Tour Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 17th May 2012 by vmteam

This year I was able to follow Delain around the country on their We Are The Other Tour (I swear, I’m not a stalker!), celebrating the individuality of people known as the ‘others’. The album concept was inspired by the tragic case of Sophie Lancaster, where she was brutally murder because of stereotyping. This tour saw Delain’s fourth tour around the United Kingdom, joining Delain on the road were American metallers Halcyon Way, a band that seemed almost wasted on this tour and would probably of benefitted more from touring with the likes of Dragonforce or Arch Enemy. Also, on the tour were Amada Somerville’s own solo band Trillium. The UK tour in the started at the HMV Institute in Birmingham, situated just 5 minutes from the Bull Ring Shopping Centre. The city saw Delain’s first ever UK show at the Femme Metal Festival in 2009 and like Charlotte said ,and I agree, it was like coming home.

Starting up the shows were Halcyon Way, their name being said differently to how it’s spelt, a band like I said before I felt were a bit wasted on the tour and should of really toured with the likes of Dragonforce and would appeal to fans perhaps more to fans of Bullet For My Valentine or Malefice or other acts along those lines. Their music saw a heavier and more violent approach to music, hinting towards the metalcore and post-hardcore styles. Their performances were heavier than that of Trillium and Delain. With their performance totalled in a full six songs on their set list, although I could not seem to find where the songs ended and started during the first two shows and they seemed to be doing a never ending amount of songs. The Birmingham show saw that the band came straight from Paris to Birmingham to perform. Halcyon did have a strong reaction from the crowd but the performance felt to be lacking something. The last song, On Black Wings (taken from their album Inctrination), which for me, was the best. This was the same for the Sheffield show as well. The third night I saw them, in Manchester, was in a small and more intimate venue which saw them bloom and do a far more powerful performance than the previous nights with more input from the crowd. I think they are a band to watch for future reference but I feel that they weren’t anything too special, but as I said they’re a band to look out for. I would be surprised if we see these in the UK anytime soon. However, it is safe to say that the Delain Nation (a name for Delain fans), got a massive shock when it came down to it.

Like most people in the Delain crowd they had probably heard the most notable song for Trillium which is their promotional single Coward. The first time hearing this, it felt as if it was something that just didn’t click with me but it had grown on me over time. This tour saw lead singer Amanda quite sick with a doctor having to come and see Amanda just before the Sheffield show, which did mean a slight decrease from her performance over the next two shows: Sheffield and Manchester but at least she was able to carry on. Like Halcyon Way, it saw the same set list through out the tour, however with just one album to play tracks from, and the unlikely hood of hearing an Epica song, there wasn’t a vast selection of songs for them to perform. The HMV Institute was Amanda’s first show in the UK, even after touring all over the world with other acts like with Epica and Kamelot. I was surprised by how much I actually liked Trillium live during the first night we were able to see the curvy Amanda jump up and down on the stage and become in her element with the music, something that unfortunately was not seen at the Manchester show. I, however, would recommended checking out Trillium.

During this tour I have been able to encounter Delain’s performance at all different angles from being right at the front to far at the back and of course, slap bang in the middle. Delain have been one of my favourite bands to go and see live since I experienced of their live shows at Rio’s in Leeds back in 2010. Unlike other bands, after seeing them, they start to lose their touch, such as when I saw Lacuna Coil in Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester after seeing them in Liverpool, however this certainly was not the case with Delain. I was surprised as to how much I actually enjoyed all of the concerts on this tour, despite having the same set list throughout the tour. Being at the back for the first show I was able to see everything that they show had to offer as well as the very vibrant audience. The show saw new songs from Delain’s third album We Are The Others, scheduled for release June 4th here in the UK. Delain kicked off the set with a song from the new album, which I failed to remember the name of.

From here the band performed a mixture of songs which surprised me when I heard a lot of tracks from their first album Lucidity and as many new songs from We Are the Others. One of the first songs that were played during any of the shows was the title of the new album and the tour, We Are the Others, a song that celebrates indifference and uniqueness. A lot of songs made it is obvious that Delain have taken a sort of turn from what would be considered their typical sound, as the new songs tended to have more meaning surrounding life.

The Sheffield show celebrated Charlotte’s 25th Birthday. Unlike I had originally expected no one came out with a lit up cake on the stage for the audience to sing like with other bands, but I suppose they have their traditions and other bands have theirs. The same structure was given to the show and had the same songs involved as the first night with the same jokes but good.

As a rule, I don’t usually like shows in Manchester but unlike the others, the Manchester show seemed to have shined through with the crowd. Unlike previous nights, it seemed that See Me in Shadows was performed better, as in Birmingham is seemed that given the emotion of the song it was not that well delivered. The Manchester show also saw better lighting than the previous nights and had more energy throughout this show.

The Gathering was the best song of the night and the last, it saw the audience jumping up and down, more so than at the Sheffield show, although the best song of the Sheffield show was The Gathering, along with April Rain. The Manchester show, also saw people involved with the Sophie Lancaster charity premier the new songs from the album that were inspired by the tragedy of her death.

In total the best show out of the three was the Manchester show, despite the band slightly putting their foot in it with the remarks about Manchester City winning the title and losing to Manchester United, with the Birmingham show not even close, it really was the best show that I have seen in a while. Anyone who missed out, should definitely keep an eye out for the next time Delain tour in the UK.

Danielle Eley