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MUSIC REVIEW: DELAIN – Apocalypse & Chill

| 20 February 2020 | Reply

Label: Napalm Records

Release Date: February 7, 2020

Rating: 90%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I first discovered Delain through their 2009 release April Rain.  This was one of the first trysts in my musical affair with Symphonic Metal… and that love still exists.  The bands next release We Are The Others kept them embedded in my rotation.  The bands latest offering, Apocalypse & Chill, has catapulted them back into my musical head space.  Disc opener “One Second” is symphonic magic and sets the pace for the rest of the disc.  The killer cadence and amazing vocals from Charlotte Wessels elevate the song among a crowd of really good tracks.  The vibe of the track gets a slight punch from some harder vocals in the fray, but not too much as to detract from the songs feel.  “We Had Everything” keeps the fun and magic from the first track alive.  The opening groove of the track has more of a dance club vibe than a metal vibe, but soon the two sounds morph and we are off and running.  The vocals on this track are some of the best on the disc.  “Let’s Dance” is a bottom heavy track that is highlighted by Otto’s bass lines and the almost mechanical sound of Wessel’s vocals at points through the verse.  The contagious chorus draws you in and allows you to dance in your seat while you head bang to the songs rhythm.  “Masters Of Destiny” chugs along behind Timo’s guitar work and more lofty vocals from Charlotte.  The song is typical symphonic metal, with all of its sounds and trappings.

“Chemical Redemption” is another track that has a club vibe swirled into the songs DNA.  The heavy bottom end from drummer Joey de Boer and bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije keep the song anchored without weighing it down.  The keyboards woven into the track adds texture and keeps things moving along.  “To Live Is To Die” has a great opening and the song chugs along thanks to Westerholt’s keyboards and Charlotte’s vocals.  The song perfectly blend the classic Delain vibe with the new electronic groove they have embraced on this collection of tracks.  “Creatures” has a power metal vibe to it that captures the songs cadence and vibe through the intro and then becomes a symphonic hybrid once the vocals are tossed into the mix.  Be sure to check out the sonic shifts in the verses and bridge.  “Legions Of The Lost” has a killer riff that kicks the track off and is soon joined by keyboards and drums that give the song a cool vibe.  The choral vocal arrangement in the intro adds depth while the songs works its way to the verse.  “The Greatest Escape” is part ballad and part power and the combination is great.  The vocals are beautiful and give the chorus a killer vibe; the monotone run during the chorus is enchanting and mesmerizing.  The orchestral addition to the songs musical component is perfect.

“Burning Bridges” is a heavier track that totally embraces the symphonic sound that I first fell in love with back in 2009.  The cadence of the track gets the foot tapping and the head banging from opening note to the songs close.  The vocals on the chorus are lofty and crisp, giving Wessels room to run rampant.  “Vengeance” starts off slowly, but soon takes off and you can’t help but enjoy the journey.  The vocals are cool, especially the male add-on in the verse and bridge.  Martijn Westerholt’s keyboards on this track are the perfect accompaniment for the vocals, while Timo Somers’ guitar solo on the bridge is one of the best on the disc.  “Ghost House Heart” unfolds with an airy vocal that provides the perfect foundation for this beautiful track.  The piano and vocal duet that opens the song gets depth and punch form the additional musical accompaniment that is added as the song progresses.  While very different from other symphonic tracks, this is a great addition to the disc.  Disc closer “Combustion” starts off sounding more like a soundcheck than a song, but the guitar combined with the keyboard is a cool fusion piece that screams progressive rock… an indicator of the bands next musical venture?  The instrumental piece is an interesting way to end the disc, but then again, this band has never locked itself into one sound or pattern.  The song wraps up the package demonstrating the bands ability to stay true to their roots while venturing into new territory sonically.

Tracklisting: One Second – We Had Everything – Chemical Redemption – Burning Bridges – Vengeance – To Live Is To Die – Let’s Dance – Creatures – Ghost House Heart – Masters Of Destiny – Legions Of The Lost – The Greatest Escape – Combustion

Band: Charlotte Wessels (vocals) – Martijn Westerholt (keyboards) – Timo Somers (guitars) – Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije (bass) – Joey de Boer (drums)






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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