Delain – Interlude (Napalm Records)

Monday, 6th May 2013
Rating: 6.5/10

Delain is a Dutch symphonic metal with Gothic leanings, who start anew with Napalm Records with this compilation record Interlude. Featuring the alluring female vocals of Charlotte Wessels, the five-piece seem to appeal to a wide cross section of fansm appearing on bills like Progpower USA and high profile European festivals such as Sonisphere, Hellfest, and Wacken Open Air.

Consisting of two new songs, two alternative mix/ballad versions of previously recorded songs, three covers, and six live recordings, this could give a new listener a broad viewpoint of what the band is like and where they developed their influences. “Breathe on Me” is typical Delain fare – a pulsating mid-tempo groove accented with symphonic/ dance-oriented keyboard tones and the right electric guitar propulsion to drive Wessels’ soothing, angelic melodies home. “Collars and Suits” has more of an up tempo feel, the keyboards from Martijn Westerholt vibrant while the guitars churn with this lower power groove- the closing melodic chorus refrain very hypnotic in its echo-like phrasing.

As far as covers, they pick a Talk Talk number in “Such A Shame,” The Cranberries’ “Cordell” and the semi-hit of the 80’s from Bronski Beat “Smalltown Boy,” showcasing a heavy side, a tender side, and some of their fun side in great, out of the box choices. The live songs contain audience clapping at all the right sections with Wessels egging on the crowds with infectious greetings, but to me are unnecessary beyond the fervent Delain crowd.

Not as heavy or long-winded as Epica, Delain fall more in line with Lacuna Coil and Martijn’s ex-compatriots from Within Temptation; bouncy, semi-symphonic laden Gothic metal with tons of hooks to hang your hat on. As such, Interlude is something I have to be in the right mood to properly appreciate.

Delain official site