Delain - April Rain

Source: DPRP

Tracklist: April Rain (4:37), Stay Forever (4:27), Invidia (3:49), Control The Storm (4:14), On The Other Side (4:11), Virtue And Vice (3:56), Go Away (3:38), Start Swimming (5:21), Lost (3:24), I'll Reach You (3:30), Nothing Left (4:39)


Delain
, a Dutch female fronted progressive metal outfit with a ‘Gothic' touch, have their second album out. The band is led by ex-Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt (yes, the brother of Robert). Because of his illness a few years ago (Pfeiffer's disease) he had to be replaced in Within Temptation but after a full recovery he formed his own band, originally started as a project. Singer Charlotte Wessel's evidently learned a lot and is really making her way to the top of the genre. Their debut album Lucidity was well received (Edwin Roosjen scored it an 8-) and this album is a worthy successor.


All songs are pop-orientated rock with the emphasis on being catchy and ready to get a lot of airplay. Not so much progressive nor original I must add, and all eleven songs are within the 5:21 minutes limit. Listening to the album, my first impression was: this is the album Nightwish should have made instead of Dark Passion Play but the originality, refinement and ground breaking albums of that Finnish outfit places Nightwish in a higher league. The overall feel of April Rain is comparable to Nightwish's Oceanborn album, but recorded anew and sung by Anette instead of Tarja. The participation of Marko Hietala in tracks 4 and 11 makes the Nightwish influences even more obvious. Guest on the album is cellist Maria Ahn; she is featured in the track On The Other Side (not a cover of the song by Kansas!). The production duties were performed by Oliver Phillips (Everon) and he surely knows how to produce a bombastic album like this. Tracks like April Rain, Go Away and Lost definitely have the Nightwish touch, the other songs are more in the vein of Within Temptation and perhaps a bit similar to the more mellow songs by After Forever.


My personal favourites are the songs with Marko and the highlight for me is Start Swimming, an absolutely fabulous chorus and the most progressive track of all. Though it's not genuine ‘progressive rock' as such, this band should be checked out live and although Delain are playing safe again, April Rain is a real solid album and providing three quarters of an hour of high quality melodic female fronted metal. The special edition (RR 78795) features an exclusive bonus track. Maybe some of the riffs and choruses are predictable, but there is lot on this record you should be able to enjoy as much I did and will do for quite some time!


Conclusion: 8 out of 10


MENNO VON BRUCKEN FOCK


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