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DELAIN April Rain Roadrunner Records (2010)

Delain Opening with the magnificently radio friendly and epic title track (and single), Delain - the successors to the Nightwish melodic metal crown - look set to make a major breakthrough.

Formed by Dutch keyboardist Martijn Westerholt after ill health forced him to quit gothic metal band Within Temptation, Delain was originally intended as a stop gap project with vocalist Charlotte Wessels. But such was the success of their debut release (2006's Lucidity) that a full band has been recruited to make this symphonic melodic metal masterpiece.

Check out the Youtube video for the title track and you'll be an immediate convert - the band have it all - power, pace, and a fantastic (and camera friendly) vocalist in Charlotte. Image is unfortunately [almost] everything in this day and age and Delain have iconic imagery.

That's no good if there's no substance to back it up. But in Delain's case they're the full package, and Charlotte's vocals add a commercial element to the band's powerful sound that is so often absent from that of their contemporaries in the genre.

Marco Hietala of Nightwish even adds his seal of approval by featuring on two of the best tracks on the abum - the tempestuous Control The Storm (which rages with the of power of Meatloaf with a full symphony orchestra behind him) and the majestic Nothing Left.

But really, it's the vocals of Charlotte Wessels that single Delain out as the melodic metal band most likely to 'cross over'. Trained in both jazz and classical singing, and with a great ear for a melody, her vocals have a warmth and range that are very easy on the ear and that make the band's sound extremely marketable to a wider audience.


Review by Pete Whalley


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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