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Delain: Interlude

Finally, I get to review my first Delain album. And as the press release states, "It is the perfect introduction to the world of DELAIN and the starting point to an emotional and bombastic journey!"

Delain is a Dutch symphonic metal band formed in 2002 by former Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt and vocalist Charlotte Wessels. The band includes: Sander Zoer, on drums; Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije, on bass and backing vocals; Timo Somers, on lead guitar and backing vocals; along with Martijn Westerholt, on keyboards; and Charlotte Wessels, on lead vocals.

The band has released three albums, 'Lucidity', in 2006, 'April Rain', in 2009, and 'We Are the Others', in 2012.

I have read several reviewers rave about Charlotte Wessels' voice, and on the opener, 'Breathe On Me', I now understand the adulation. She has the perfect delivery. Soft and in control, without the shrieks that drive your ears to turn down the volume. She whispers and flirts with her voice and captures your attention immediately…and never lets go. Her looks are enough to attract attention and her voice fits that portrait perfectly. The accompanying heavy drums, bass, and roaring guitars support her vocal power well. This is a great single which will be heard on many tours in the future. Off to a great start.

'Collars and Suits' and 'Breathe On Me' are both new songs, so I have to say that my introduction to the band is already a nice surprise. 'Collars and Suits' is another showcase for Wessels' voice. Her quiet control and confidence shimmers as the explosive guitars, bass, keys and drums shower her vocal presence with mountain scaling grandness.

'Are You Done With Me' is from 'We Are the Others'. However, this is a "new single mix". Wessels' covers the break-up of a relationship well as she declares her determination with elevated vocals, to carry on…strong and proud.

'Such A Shame' is Delain's cover of the famous Talk Talk penned song. It has been covered by many brilliant artists, but Wessels' adds her own innovative vocal touch. The guitar work is simply amazing, as are the drums and keyboards. A definite keeper.

'Cordell' is a Cranberries track that Wessels delivers with fine accompaniment of acoustic guitar from Timo Somers. The piano support is also excellent. Wessels provides a clean sound matching the richness of the original version delivered by Dolores O 'Riordan.

'Smalltown Boy' is a Bronski Beat original, which Wessels gives a female vocal spin to with excellent delivery. The power guitar, bass, and drums provide more strength and confidence to the story than the original. They add some strings to balance the power, but Wessels' confidence still shines through. The acoustic guitar is excellent.

'We Are the Others' is by far Delain's best written song. The lyrics and story line are an anthem to all those outside the norm, which as they say means all of us. The piano and strings give this a more emotional, even acoustic, i.e. 'ballad' feel than the original. The song carries a strong message beyond its great melody and musicianship. As children join in with Wessels you can't help but sing along. The album's best track…by leagues. Make sure to check out the official video for the track.

'Mother Machine (live)', opens a set of six live tracks with a very cool slow drummed and percussion opening. The crowd cheers as Wessels and band take the stage. The keyboard and dramatic opening are perfect. What comes next is less powerful. I guess this is their ode to 'Welcome to the Machine'. However to me it sounds like many of the heavy metal tracks I have heard one too many times before.

If 'Mother Machine' was less fulfilling, well then 'Get The Devil Out Of Me (live)' completely failed to launch. The keys are worthy though.

Maybe they should have completed the album before the live tracks. 'Milk And Honey (live)', doesn't lift me back after the last two live tracks. The keys are simply amazing, and Wessels voice is worth every minute of sound, but these tracks just don't have the lyrical or melodic power that the openers provided.

Yes, the keys and surrounding sound effects are epic and start 'Invidia (live)' with majesty. But then the same ole heavy metal crush and awe ensues. Still...this is the best of the live tracks.

'Electricity (live)' starts slow and full of more of those excellent keys and surrounding sounds. The heavy guitars, bass and drums are great. Wessels voice is powerful, but the lyrics fall flat after the brilliance of the first couple of tracks on this album.

'Not Enough (live)' is another heavy metal rocker full of fantastic keyboards, lead guitar, bass, and running drums. For me, it is enough…the thrill is gone.

"Interlude" is a blend of brand-new songs, special versions and mixes of popular Delain tracks, covers, and some live tracks. Nice concept. And I know the cost of producing separate albums of each content is high, but in this case, I think they could have made a much more powerful statement with the covers and new tracks alone.

Track Listing:

01. Breathe On Me
02. Collars and Suits
03. Are You Done With Me (new single mix)
04. Such A Shame
05. Cordell
06. Smalltown Boy
07. We Are The Others (new ballad version)
08. Mother Machine (live)
09. Get The Devil Out Of Me (live)
10. Milk And Honey (live)
11. Invidia (live)
12. Electricity (live)
13. Not Enough (live)

Added: March 26th 2013
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
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Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Delain: Interlude
Posted by Fanny D. on 2013-05-22 06:49:22
My Score:

Regarding the limited edition digipack, beware of the FSK 0 sticker. It's glued on the front of the cardboard and when trying slowly and gently to pull it off, the cardboard tore. I tried to pull from another side and a small piece also tore. I ended up placing my flatiron close to the cardboard and was able to pull it off but the "D" from Delain is loose.
I would suggest people try the flatiron tip from the start, like when trying to pull off a stamp, getting the steam close to the cardboard, not with the flatiron touching it of course.
I contacted Napalm about this. They are not willing to do anything about it. The sticker has to be there because of the DVD (to say anybody can buy it, how useless!). But still, those stickers aren't made for cardboards (others are or it could be printed directly on the back) and that's the responsibility of the company to me... Delain didn't react (yet?).
Otherwise, love the album and DVD!

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