Sharp Metal with a Dull Finish
Dutch symphonic metal band Delain has been producing melodic, moody goth-rock since 2002. Led by vocalist Charlotte Wessels, formerly of To Elysium, and keyboardist Martijn Westerholt from Within Temptation, Delain has a knack for infusing pop hooks and accessible lyrics into a genre more known for pretentious over-dramatization. With their third full-length album, We Are the Others, Delain continues to stretch their capabilities but with mixed results.
The album begins with “Mother Machine,” rattling with some appropriately mechanical sound effects that lead to a few seconds of mayhem, then settle into a pop-goth that forms the backdrop for Wessels’ flawless voice. In the middle comes an unforgettable chorus that raises the song to the next dynamic level, but also fails to ignore the clichéd elements of the genre. This structure follows throughout Others. When it works, it works well, and it’s infectious. Just try to deny the power of the refrain from “Electricity” or the radio-friendly, power-laden title track.
Unfortunately, this formula plays itself out midway through Others. The melodies start to feel recycled, and when they try to shake things up, such as in “Where is the Blood” which features Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell, the result is more distracting than effective. In general, though, Wessels’ singing and the arrangements offer enough beauty to outweigh the predictability, and enough shining moments to outweigh the dull bits.