Delain - We Are The Others
Delain started out as an experimental project by ex-Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt. Their first album, 2006's Lucidity, featured guest appearances from Marco Hietala, Sharon Den Adel, Liv Kristine and members of Epica - and therefore made a big splash in the symphonic metal world. The follow-up, April Rain, appeared in 09 as Delain became a band in their own right, with the only guest appearance being Marco's vocals on two of the tracks. Some fans criticised the change of style to a less experimental, more commercial format, but others embraced it and a new symphonic superband was born.
So does We Are The Others live up to the band's other successes? The album was delayed by problems within the band's record company, with rumours flying around that the execs there 'didn't get metal' and were keen for the band to produce something more mainstream. This seemed to give some fans the idea that the new album would be much heavier than Delain's previous sound, but this is not really the case. However, there is a more industrial sound to the songs that is certainly more edgy. In fact, there is not much that would be instantly identifiable as symphonic metal here.
Album opener Mother Machine is one such song. With strong beats and machinery noises from the outset, you can clearly hear the industrial influences. Where Is The Blood is similar, featuring a guest appearance from Fear Factory's Burton C. Bell. Charlotte's vocals show wonderful range, going from evil-sounding to sweetness and light with ease. You can hear the power in her voice on songs like Electricity, which definitely show improvement from the early days of the band.
Unlike with many other symphonic bands, there's no mention of dungeons and dragons to be found here. Lyrically the album covers broken relationships, (Are You Done With Me?), social networking (Generation Me) and even murdering one's love interest (I Want You). The title track deals with the death of gothic teenager Sophie Lancaster who was killed because of her appearance, and brilliantly encapsulates the feeling of being an outsider in society. All this gives the impression of a modern, forward-thinking band that aren't afraid to try something different.
The bonus tracks on the UK special edition are great quality live versions of The Gathering, Control the Storm (both featuring Marco Hietala), Sleepwalker's Dream and Shattered.
Overall, this is definitely an album worth buying. The songs are diverse and moving, and none of them fall flat. The whole record is cohesive and ties together really well. Though some fans from the early days may berate the lack of symphonic elements, this feels like the start of a great new era for Delain. Let's just hope their record company feel the same way.
5 skullies out of 5
Highlights: Electricity, We Are The Others, I Want You, Milk and Honey, Mother Machine
You might also like: Within Temptation, Nemesea, Xandria, Lacuna Coil