This is the latest offering from the Dutch rockers, and it’s a doozie. I jumped on this when it came up for review as Delain have recently come to my attention via the awesome new single Get The Devil Out Of Me, and up until very recently they had slipped under my musical radar.
As luck would have it I also managed to grab a quick chat with keys man Martijn Westerholt to get the low down on the album too. This one is a bit more guitar orientated than their previous offerings, and with a thinner layer of keyboards. It’s a very moody and atmospheric record too. It explores the darker areas of the human psyche, as well as a few other places too. The title track is inspired by the sad case of Sophie Lancaster who, as many people know, was savagely beaten because of her Goth looks and later died as a result of her injuries. Sophie’s is not forgotten though, she now has a memorial stage named after her at Bloodstock Open Air festival, and the Sophie Lancaster Foundation www.sophielancasterfoundation.com is doing sterling work fighting prejudice and discrimination. It is a cause close to rock music lovers worldwide.
The song it’s self explores reasons for extremism in society, oppression, and segregation and it’s very powerful stuff. It’s also an anthem for anyone that chooses a different path to the norm, and is alienated because of that. It was the idea of vocalist Charlotte Wessels to approach the subject, and I will say that it’s been handled extremely well.
The band as a whole are very pleased with the result of this album, and I can see why. It’s instantly recognisable as Delain with their symphonic approach to the genre, but it’s been taken in a different direction as they explore new methods of both recording and playing. The fruits of this new approach shine through here in abundance. The album itself has taken quite some time to record and master, having been started well over a year ago, but it’s been worth the effort as the end result is a very accomplished piece of work. Each song has been allowed to grow from just the basic foundations. Instead of the traditional approach of each member of the band doing their respective parts and then leaving the studio, they decided to go along the route of the whole band recording at the same time and allowing for freedom and improvisation during the whole process.
What they’ve achieved is something very special, and extremely intelligent. There are many dimensions to this album, and it will make you feel a whole range of emotions while listening to it. It’s thought provoking, well constructed, and musically brilliant. Oh yes, this is very good indeed, extremely good in fact. On a personal level, I’m extremely glad to have stumbled across Delain, and I will list this as one of the ‘essential’ albums of 2012 so far.
You may have guessed from reading this, that I actually quite like it….