Archive for Charlotte Wessels

Delain – The Human Contridiction

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , on 3rd April 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Delain
The Human Contradiction
Released 7th April 2014
Symphonic Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Delain have become one of the most recognised names in symphonic metal following the release of We Are The Others back in 2012, which was also the last album the band released through Roadrunner Records before jumping ship to Napalm. With their UK tour supporting Within Temptation just around the corner, it makes sense to release the album in the run up to the tour.

Here Come the Vultures creeps in at the beginning of the album with Charlotte’s strong and emotive voice accompanied by Martijn’s eerie style of keyboard playing. The heavier sections of the song blast in unexpectedly, taking Delain down the dark and cumbersome sound of their pre-We Are The Others repertoire. Your Body Is A Battleground rings out with its catchy vocal melodies and memorable lyrics, underlined by a fistful of unrelenting riffs and keyboard strikes. The vocal duet between Charlotte and Marco (Nightwish/Tarot) add a very empathic characteristic to the track, bringing life to the dramatic lyrics.

Stardust follows up with a calmer combination of keyboard ballets and soaring vocals, that dance perfectly together in the sea of sharp, driving metal elements from the guitars and rhythm sections which makes it a prominent track on the album. My Masquerade soars like a raven in the night sky, bringing about a sound reminiscent of Theatres Des Vampires due to the way the song is portrayed throughout the instrumentation. The halfway point of the album, Tell Me, Mechanist, fuses the modern Gothic elements and fierce pounding stylistic characters of Delain’s music into poignant track full of plenty of clean vocals and bestial growls. The gentle swaying keyboards really stand out on this track, adding a truly unique flavour to the song.

Sing To Me really displays the emotional depth of Charlotte’s voice as well as the vigorous sound of the band’s music, keeping the harrowing sound blazing like a bonfire during a cold November dusk. Marco makes an appearance on this track as well, adding to the depth of Charlotte’s enchanting vocals. Army Of Dolls echoes with the sounds of the Lucidity and April Rain albums while bringing Delain’s newer sound into the fray as well, demonstrating how much the band’s sound has evolved since its formation. There are new aspects thrown into this song as well that will drag the listener out of their comfort zone and into a strange new land of ethereal keys and soulful guitar passages.

Lullaby is another song that will drag the listener from their comfort zone but rather than leaving them in a new land, it will take them by the hand for a stroll down through a haunting forest of tainted riffs and shaded lyrics as well Plutonian symphonies. The atmosphere created by this track is like that found within Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. The Human Contradiction comes to a passionate and unrestrained close with The Tragedy Of The Commons which flows smoothly like a river, allowing tides of symphonic passages and riffs wash over the listener. Alissa White-Gluz’s hungry, demonic growls are a suprise on during the song, blending well with the atmospheric choir vocals and the twilit sound of the track.

Delain have become such a recognised name in symphonic metal for a long list of reasons and The Human Contradiction can be added to the list of reasons as it could easily rival the likes of Leaves’ Eyes recent album as well as Within Temptation’s discography. If anything, The Human Contradiction could be the best symphonic metal release of the decade as well as one of the greatest albums to be released through Napalm Records.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

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Delain premiere video for Stardust

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 1st April 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Today Dutch symphonic metallers Delain have unveiled their new video for Stardust, which is taken from their new album The Human Contradiction. The album is due out on 7th April April via Napalm Records. The video can be viewed below.

Delain Online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

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Delain release new album preview

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 13th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Symphonic metallers Delain are set to release their new album, The Human Contradiction, next month through Napalm Records and it’s one of the most highly anticipated symphonic metal albums of the year. adding to the hype of the new album, Delain have released a trailer giving fans a preview of the album. The trailer can be viewed down below.

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

 

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Delain premiere lyric video for Your Body Is A Battleground

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 7th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Yesterday saw the unveiling of Dutch symphonic metal band Delain’s lyric video for their new single Your Body Is A Battleground, which is taken from their upcoming fourth studio album The Human Contradiction. The video can be viewed below.

The Human Contradiction will be release 7th April via Napalm Records, ahead of the band’s UK tour with fellow Dutch metallers Within Temptation. Tour dates are as follow:

11th         MANCHESTER – Apollo
12th         LONDON – Wembley Arena
14th         NEWCASTLE – Academy
15th         GLASGOW – Academy
16th         BIRMINGHAM – Academy

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

 

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Delain reveal details of new studio album

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 23rd January 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Dutch symphonic rockers Delain have revealed the details and album art of their upcoming album The Human Contradiction, which will be the follow up to their 2012 release We Are The Others. The album art – as seen to the left – is a stunning visualisation which features Delain frontwoman Charlotte Wessels.

In their initial announcement on their Facebook page, moments ago, Delain stated that the new album will feature guest musicians. The tracklisting is as follows:

1. Here Come The Vultures
2. Your Body Is A Battleground
3. Stardust
4. My Masquerade
5. Tell Me, Mechanist
6. Sing To Me
7. Army Of Dolls
8. Lullaby
9. The Tragedy Of The Commons

The Human Contradiction will be released via Napalm Records on the following dates for the following locations:

Germany/Austria/Switzerland: 4th April 2014
UK, Rest of Europe: 7th April 2014
USA and Canada: 8th April 2014
Japan, ANZ, South America, Russia: TBA

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

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Metal Female Voices Festival @ Wieze, BE

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd October 2013 by Freya

Tarja, Lacuna Coil, ReVamp, Delain, Leaves’ Eyes
Oktoberhallen, Wieze
18th-20th October

In Belgium, October stands for falling leaves, rain and a ton of female fronted metal. For the eleventh time the Oktoberhallen in Wieze flooded with fans of this genre to attend the Metal Female Voices Fest or MFVF. This festival has a very loyal fanbase, some of them even travelled a good part of the globe to get there! I had the pleasure to meet some dedicated metalheads from Israel and Argentina, and it’s safe to say that they weren’t the only international visitors.

On Friday, the first day of the festival, the doors opened at 19h00 as there were only two acts. I have no idea if that was also the reason behind the smaller crowd, but it was noticable that there were a lot more attendees on Saturday and Sunday. But that didn’t stop Liv Kristine from giving it her all with her solo project! Liv Kristine by herself, accompanied by a band of course, is a little more indie/rock than Leaves’ Eyes, but that doesn’t take away of the fact that she has an amazing voice. Fans of Leaves’ Eyes were lucky this weekend, because the band attended the festival on Saturday. But for now, back to Liv Kristine. As the crowd continued to grow, she enchanted us with her adorable smile and charisma. Paris Paris and Skintight opened the set, followed by a fragile Fake a Smile. Trapped in Your Labyrinth was definitely one of the highlights of the show, together with ‘Libertine’. With these songs Liv Kristine showcased that a delicate voice can rock just as much as a more solid voice. As a nice surprise, a few Theatre of Tragedy songs made it into the set: Venus and Image. Overall, this was a perfect fresh and joyous opener for what turned out to be an outstanding edition of MFVF. [3.5/5]

After Liv Kristine, the stage was invaded by Eve’s Apple. And I mean invaded! Eve’s Apple isn’t a normal band with about 5 or 6 members, it’s a collective of female singers. Some of the ladies who sung some beautiful covers were: Lisa Middelhauve (ex-Xandria), Charlotte Wessels (Delain), Iliana Tsakiraki, Kassandra Gruszkowki, Annamaria Cozza, Zuberoa Aznarez, Aiylin Gimenez (Sirenia), Grace Meridan, Heidi Parviainen, Mary Zimmer, Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion), Clémentine Delauney (Serenity), Karolina Pacan (Skeptical Minds), Sabrina Valentine, Laura Vargas, Mariangela Themurtas (Tristania), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth), Sanna Salou, Angel Wolfblack, VK Lynne and Maxi Nil (Visions Of Atlantis). Some of the biggest hits in rock were brought out for this special occasion, so we had the opportunity to listen to adaptations of Stargazer (Marcela Bovio and Kassandra Novell) and Poison (Clémentine Delauney and VK Lynne). Every now and then the fire underneath the songs died out a bit and made way for a softly glowing ember like Behind Blue Eyes(Mariangela Themurtas, Maxi Nil and Charlotte Wessels). Personally, Show Must Go On (Karolina Pacan and Angel Wolfblack) would have been in the list of amazing duets as well, but technical issues caused some trouble. The vocals drowned in a wall of sound and that’s too bad, because it had a lot of potential. Towards the end all the ladies got together on stage to thank Maxi Nil, and to sing a few songs of course! The two final songs of the evening were quite appropriate: All we Are and Stars. [3/5]

As the final notes of the evening died out the crowd turned to their tent, car or bus, only to return in a few very short hours!

On Saturday the doors opened at 10h00. And even though it was still early, there was a relatively long queue in front of said doors. And what a nice wake-up call we got once we got inside! Our neighbours from the North sent Magion to MFVF, and they were an astonishing discovery! Myrthe van Beest has an enchanting voice, which is a perfect match for compelling songs like Neverending Winter and Shallow Grounds. During Greed the horns went up, and the crowd slowly started shaking off the mists of morning. [4/5]

Azylya should definitely get the award for creepiest intro at MFVF. The Belgian band played a home game and brought two masked dancers and a creepy little girl with them. She fit right in with the eerie music and lighting. The venue was starting to shed a bit of the initial chill, but things definitely got hotter when Jamie-Lee Smit brought out some fire during Darkness Ascending. Electroconvulsive was a vocal mix between a kick in the teeth and a gentle embrace. Overall, Azylya told an enchanting story with a lot of power. The mix of classical elements with metal, and the two contrasting voices were a true delight! [4/5]

Victorians – Aristocrats’ Symphony brought a touch of the past to MFVF, with stunning costumes (I still want to steal the jacket that Utis wore). Songs like Descent of Your Destiny and Prince of Night paint a picture of times long gone, but with a modern twist. After the show they told us they were a bit worried about the quality of the sound, but I don’t think they had anything to worry about. [3.5/5]

Serenity came to MFVF to promote their new album War of Ages. Singers Clémentine Delauney and Georg Neuhauser sound very well-balanced and they compliment each other. Georg ran and jumped around every inch of the stage, never standing in one place more than a few seconds, and you could see he was having a good time. But there was also room for a more intimate song: Fairytales was touching and intense. A nice surprise was the guest appearance from Charlotte Wessels during Serenade of Flames. Serenity knows how to entertain and satisfy an audience. [3.5/5]

Canadian band Kobra and the Lotus brought heavy metal to Wieze, and how! Nayana struck like a poisonous snake and this feisty animal did not lose it’s grip. Kobra Paige has a hypnotic and overwhelming voice and she took the stage with confidence and spirit. And it gets better! She is backed up by an impressive wall of sound consisting of fierce guitars and raging drums. Songs like 50 Shades of Evil or Forever One have potential to become true metal anthems. Dark Passenger was preceded by a drum solo that showcased the sills of the drummer and My Life stood out to me due to its unique guitar riff. Afterwards Kobra Paige shared some words of wisdom with me: love and metal, that’s what it’s all about. I couldn’t agree more. [5/5]

I admit it, at first, I was a bit sceptical about Kontrust. I saw a few of their videos on YouTube and felt like I had no idea what to expect. The intro made me feel like I was at Octoberfest rather than Metal Female Voices Fest so I had the urge to roll my eyes, but I stand corrected! Kontrust knows how to get a party started. They were a lot of fun and the crowd clearly enjoyed their lighthearted songs like Hey DJ, U Say What and Bomba. Sock and Doll was another example of what makes Kontrust unique: I’ve never seen a band use sock puppets before… But it worked! The horns went up and I saw a lot of smiles around me. [4/5]

After Kontrust it was time for the headlining acts of the day: Leaves’ Eyes, Delain and Lacuna Coil.

Liv Kristine took the stage once more this weekend, this time as part of Leaves’ Eyes. Since Leaves’ Eyes is practically a synonym for symphonic metal, that’s exactly what we got: riveting melodies and an angelic voice with a heavier counterpartner. Their new album Symphonies of the Night will be released in November so at MFVF we had the privilege to hear a few new songs such as Galswintha, Fading Earth, Symphonies of the Night, Maid of Lorraine and Hell to the Heavens. And I can tell you, these songs are something to look forward to! The crowd clearly enjoyed the new material, but most hands, horns and fists were raised during songs as My Destiny, Elegy and Take the Devil in Me. (And Alexander Krull still has the most awesome hair!) [4/5]

Delain opened their set with Mother Machine, a song taken from their album We are the Others. Charlotte Wessels appeared on stage dressed in white and she swept the crowd right off their feet. The entire show she continued to encourage the audience to sing, scream or clap along. Go Away and Virtue and Vice from the album April Rain were played next, accompanied by sparks and an audience on fire. Charlotte reached the higher notes with ease and before we knew it they were halfway through the set. We were in for another great surprise though, because during No Compliance, Charlotte was joined by none other than Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) for a special duet. Sharon didn’t leave after one song though, much to the delight of the audience. She sang Restless, a song by her own band Within Temptation, accompanied by Martijn Westerholt (former keyboardist of Within Temptation) on the piano. Sharon wasn’t the only guest appearance of the set though. Georg Neuhauser of Serenity joined Charlotte on stage for Control the Storm. They clearly enjoyed this duet, which was another cherry on this scrumptious Delain-cake. During the encore Charlotte had the crowd jumping once again with The Gathering. Delain said their goodbyes with We are the Others, together with the crowd who was singing along with an amazing amount of spirit after an already long day. [4.5/5]

Day two wasn’t over yet though! Lacuna Coil was the final act of the day, and they had something special planned for MFVF. They played the entire Karmacode album. It truly was a trip to the past since Karmacode came out in 2006. The band took place on stage wearing the masks they used during the Karmacode tour, but unfortunately we could only see Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. The lighting was horrible! It was really difficult to see any of the musicians during the entire set, which was disappointing. But back to the music! Karmacode is an album filled with hits like Fragile, Enjoy the Silence and Our Truth. Lacuna Coil definitely took a risk here, because not every song on the album is a hit. Because of that, at times it felt like an unusual show. The entire show was very interesting and I hope that this concept will inspire other bands to do the same. After a short intermezzo Cristina and Andrea returned in a their latest uniforms to end things with a bang! They gave the crowd a small but oh so sweet taste of absolute hits such as Heaven’s A Lie and Spellbound. To top it of they sang two songs of their latest album Dark Adrenaline: the haunting Trip the Darkness and a very energetic Kill the Light. [4/5]

So far, MFVF XI was a great success, but the third day was filled with bands who were ready to blast day 1 and 2 out of the water.

On Sunday the doors opened an hour later, which was a blessing after two long days. At noon, Hell City was present to defend the Belgian honour. And they did a great job! Hell City was fierce and on fire. Michelle Nivelle gave the crowd no excuse to be sleepy-eyed for another minute. With songs like This Mortal Loss and Demons to Rest we were showered with Grade A metal. The final song of their set was the new single Ice Cold Rage, which can be downloaded on their website. [3.5/5]

After this little Belgian treat it was time for a more exotic band: Hungarian folk metal band Dalriada made it very difficult to stand still, with energetic and up-tempo songs such as Napom, Fényes Napom and A Dudás. Unfortunately, where I stood, the crowd only clapped along (major props to a friend of mine though, who taught us all a lesson in headbanging). Maybe it was still a bit early, or the audience was saving their energy for the headliners of the day. Too bad, because it could’ve been an awesome party. [3.5/5]

After Dalriada I skipped a few bands myself, but I was back just in time to see Crimfall. The members of the band looked like they fought their way over to Wieze (blood, blood everywhere!), but they still had a ton of energy left! Helena Haaparanta and Mikko Häkkinen were accompanied by a group of merry huntsmen, who seemed to be having a lot of fun on stage. Songs like Wildfire Season paint an epic picture in the mind of the listener. Another example of their story-like songs is Silver and Bones about a son repeating his father’s mistakes. Even though Crimfall had a few technical difficulties, it was a truly wonderful journey. [4/5]

A little sidenote: it turned out that MFVF was one of the last shows with Helena: Crimfall is looking for a new singer. I wish them all the best!

Onward to the two big names of MFVF XI! The past year the buzz around Floor Jansen has been immense, so it feels like she doesn’t need an introduction anymore. The new leading lady of Nightwish proved to us all that we shouldn’t fear for the future of ReVamp. On the contrary, their new album Wild Card explores new musical territories, and sounds quite heavy. I must add that I found the new album a bit chaotic at times, but live it clicked together like clockwork. Precise, strong and compelling. The audience started clapping the second the lights went out, and was treated with a part one of The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown trilogy from Wild Card: On the Sideline. Part two (The Limbic System) and three (Neurasthenia) were played later on in the set. From the get-go, Floor amazed us all with her impressive voice. She has a range from operatic and angelic all the way to grunts, and she makes it sound so easy. To name just one example seems foolish, but Precibus perfectly highlighted her vocal range. And if that’s not enough, she’s an awe-inspiring presence on stage. Dressed in red, she truly was on fire. She kept on interacting with the crowd, and they responded within a heartbeat. From the first album, Head Up High was the first song to be played, followed later on by both In Sickness ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Disdain and Disgraced. In the end ReVamp said their goodbyes with Wolf and Dog, but according to all the horns, applause and requests for an encore, the crowd would have loved a few extra songs. [4/5]

So far the entire weekend was a weekend for the history books, but MFVF XI presented us with one more name, which made it impossible to forget: Tarja. After a theatrical intro she appeared on stage and launched into In for a Kill. It always stikes me how blissful Tarja looks on stage. She was born to sing, to give her heart and soul to the audience. This positive energy radiated throughout the venue and the crowd was happy to reciprocate with applause, singing, and raised hands. 500 Letters was greeted with cheers as though it was a classic hit, but it is in fact a song from her new album Colours In The Dark. Sing for Me and ‘I Walk Alone’ were the first ballads in the set, and they gave me goose bumps! Tarja proves time and time again that she has an incredible voice. Time to linger on this fact wasn’t part of the deal though. Falling Awake and Anteroom of Death shook us all awake.

People who have seen Tarja live before, know she usually doesn’t stick to one outfit, so Never Enough ended with an formidable band solo by cellist Max Lilja, Christian Kretschmar playing the keyboard, guitarist Alex Scholpp, bassist Anna Portalupi and Mike Terrana behind his impresssive drum kit. And indeed, at the beginning of Mystique Voyage, Tarja appeared in her second outfit of the evening (with matching microphone!) and she picked up the pace! Die Alive and Until my Last Breath had the crowd jumping in no time, as they should! Neverlight and Medusa were the final song before a short intermezzo and the intro for Victim of Ritual by Mike Terrana. He is a true magician with drumsticks! And things got memorable after this song. Tarja sang Wish I Had An Angel with passion and flair, and slowly reminded everyone of the fact that she promised us something a few weeks before MFVF. She didn’t have to ask us twice if we were ready, we were! For the final song of the festival, she invited Floor Jansen on stage for a duet. Together they sang Over the Hills and Far Away. Not only did their voices sound like all kinds of heaven, they were genuinely having a blast. They hugged, were dancing, and shared some words of wisdom with us: we have to keep the love going! [5/5]

After this epic duet, the time had come to say goodbye to MFVF XI. And on the way home I’m sure everybody was looking back on a wonderful edition to bring some warmth into the very cold night. Time to start looking forward to MFVF XII perhaps?

Freya Cherlet

Photography by Freya Cherlet.

 

The Dames of Darkness Festival 2013 – Bilston, UK

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24th May 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Delain, Visions of Atlantis and more
The Robin 2, Bilston, UK
Saturday 11th May 2013

For the first time in five years, The Dames of Darkness was set to return with one hell of a line-up. Featuring Delain as the headliners and Visions of Atlantis as main support, what more could be asked for? Well, how about six more bands from all around the UK and Europe, including Azylya, Ex Libris, Chemikill and more.

Beginning the day were melo-power metallers Incarna. Fronted by the innocent looking Emily, the four piece band stood out from other bands on the bill, dropping the use of keyboards (as is found with so many “female-fronted” bands on the scene) for a sound with more balls, more emotion and more crunchy riffs. Belting out enchanting melodies and a near operatic vocal sound, the 400 plus crowd were clearly mesmerized by Incarna; and who wouldn’t be after such a powerful and emotive performance? [5/5]

Chemikill brought a more thrashy, in-your-face sound with them – sort of what Megadeth would sound like if Mustaine was born a chick. The riffs were gritty and violent, contrasting with the ruthless drumming and the thundering bass and even during in the performance of the more calm track Wych, Chemikill were proving themselves to be a force to be reckoned with. The band’s frontwoman, Natalie, certainly knew how to work the crowd; whipping them into a near-bloody frenzy, with fist pumping and chanting. Natalie’s vocals were definitely one of the most impressive things about Chemikill’s set; incorporating growls and cleans vocals, as well as a more belting style as well. [4/5]

Following Chemikill were the Dutch powerhouse Ex Libris (Latin for “from the books”), fronted by the soprano Dianne, who took to the stage like a Gothic Aphrodite. The band sound was heavier and darker than could have been expected for anyone who wasn’t familiar with their music and it was made more mystifying by the overwhelming vocal range of Dianne, which was demonstrated to its full an extent during in their softer songs. The use of the ethereal keyboard passages and melodic guitar sections helped to emphasise the band’s dark sound that was beautifully portrayed throughout their performance. [4.5/5]

Playing the UK for the first time, Azylya brought with them a heavy Gothic sound mixed with in frontwoman Jamie-Lee’s performance art. Jamie-Lee’s vocals came out a like a siren’s call, luring the crowd into the rocks that was the band’s guitar-driven sound blended with the more death metal-based vocals of Yohann. Disappointingly though, the keyboards that make up the Gothic part of Azylya’s sound were played back, though it still helped to the eerie atmosphere of their performance. [4/5]

Apparition, the host band of The Dames of Darkness, belted out their own distinct brand of darkened rock and metal, with vocals that resembled the likes of Floor Jansen, Amy Lee and Anette Olzen. The cumbersome use of bass differed from the calmer yet aggressive use of guitars, though there were parts during in Apparition’s set that the guitars were barely audible due to technical issues. Barring the tech issues, Apparition still played a blistering set. [4.7/5]

With powerful and refined vocals and stage presence aplenty, Whyzdom went down a treat. The French “philharmonic metal” sextet blasted their way through an aphotic set with staunch symphonic elements and colossal riffs. The male vocals weren’t very inspiring and sounded flat compared to grandiose sound of Whyzdom. Lead vocalist Marie appeared to be in her element as she kept the crowd entranced with her soothing voice, one that added a certain Cimmerian touch to the performance. [4.5/5]

This was the second time that Visions of Atlantis had come to the UK, but the first time that they played a British festival and they were definitely one of the most anticipated bands of the night. Despite the fact that Maxi mistook Bilston for Birmingham, she worked to the crowd to her favour as did co-vocalist, Mario. The symphonic passages had a certain hypnotising and overwhelming effect to them, strengthening the band’s overall sound and making up for a lack of bass. Mario and Maxi proved to be a great duo, vocally; adding a new depth of emotion to VoA’s music though there were some issues with the microphones that Mario was using. The guitar sections were played with razor-sharp precision and energy, working well with the keyboards and drums. [5/5]

And then came Delain, who proved to have a strong live presence as well as a solid live sound, that made their studio work pale in comparison. Playing a set that featured songs from all four of their albums, everything seemed to meld together in perfect harmony. Charlotte sounded to be on top form as the keyboards, courtesy of Martijn, beautifully accompanied Charlotte’s vocals. The guitar and bass passages belted out harder than a leather belt being struck across the face. See Me In The Shadows was definitely one of the best parts of Delain’s performance at Dames of Darkness, though some of their newer material was extremely enjoyable as well. [4.5/5]

The Dames of Darkness Festival certainly had some of the UK’s and Europe’s best “female-fronted metal” bands with a great crowd from beginning to end. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another five years for the next one. And while it might be a bit adventurous to say at the moment, with festival season only around the corner, The Dames of Darkness might go down in the books as the best UK festival of 2013.

Nico Davidson