Oh, Delain. So much to say and so little time. Being relatively new into the ‘I wear a corset’ (and that’s just Martin Westerholt) Dutch metal scene, the band has travelled from total obscurity to a force to be reckoned with in just a few short years. April Rain was an infinite improvement on the patchy Lucidity, We Are The Others has a lot to live up to.
In a nutshell, We Are The Others is the next natural step for Delain. Taking all the best bits from their previous albums, Martin’s now veteran experience in the Dutch music scene and Charlotte Wessels’ rich, warm voice Delain mix up a record that’s exceptionally easy to listen to. Especially refreshing is the true-to-life style of vocal that never cater to the annoying metal stereotypes, with titles like Milk & Honey that bounce in with that kitschy 80s saw-tooth synth. Especially before it drops into a crowd pleasing chorus and the oft-overlooked guitar solo in this genre.
Musically, the songs are less busy than April Rain. As in, you actually tell what’s going on while Charlotte warbles over a mess of trebly noise. Whether or not that’s actually to do with the production than the actual songwriting, who knows. As the album progresses, it’s become apparent that Delain have moved somewhat away from the ‘typical’ lady-metal band archetype and swung towards a more electronica-infused sound, a la Nemesea. It’s a bold move that pays off, creating an almost cyber-punk effect when coupled with the backdrop of a tinkling grand piano. Get The Devil Out Of Me is one of the ‘new’ songs that the band showcased on their last tour. Frankly, it was so long ago I can’t remember, but whatever they’ve done or not done to since then presents the slightly serrated edge that the band have always had.
Generation Me and Babylon bring the band back towards the darker, slightly gothic template that the majority of the genre do. The guitars act as somewhat of a thickener of the sound during tracks like these, and it’s not entirely a bad thing; as a band that was formed and led by a pianist, the keyboards are always going to be the main focus in the music. That said, the guitars do add some much needed grit to the record, what would otherwise be so airy if you hung out your washing We Are The Others would dry it inside half an hour.
Delain have always been a puzzling band. They’re definitely solid, but they’ve really yet to tickle my biscuit. We Are The Others is a serious step up for the band and it’s a damn sight more accessible than the previous album was. A solid effort, and a definite starting place for any new to the band, or the entire genre.