Delain – “The Human Contradiction” (Napalm Records)
Formed by ex Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt and Charlotte Wessels on vocals in 2005, these Dutch neo goth / symphonic rockers join the elite league including Westerholt’s aforementioned band as well as Epica. Saying that Delain are more than that, blending in a number of popular styles from Wessels classical / jazz vocals to suave commercial rock riffs and strong dance grooves with the inspiration again possibly coming from Wessels who is the cousin of Dutch hardcore DJ DaY-már. Add in the epic choirs and symphonic rock metal and that’s quite a combination crossing a number of boundaries in the music spectrum! With regular collaborator Marco Hietala (Nightwish) providing his voice on the melancholic ‘Sing To Me’ as well as guest screamer Alissa White-Gluz showcasing both her clean vocals and impressive signature screams on ‘The Tragedy Of The Commons’ this is an elitist album for those expecting impeccable and stylish music from body perfect musicians! Conceptually, the album is equally cerebral, continuing from it’s predecessor ‘We Are The Others’ that itself was greatly inspired by the tragic hate murder of Sophie Lancaster. On “The Human Contradiction” the band use songs like ‘Your Body Is A Battleground’ to explore the ‘us against them’ theorem and how it extends itself into the dehumanization of others ultimately leading to intolerance and hostility. This is an utterly mesmerizing album in which vocalist supreme Wessels together with the equally talented Delain exceed the highest expectations, elevating an entire genre to a whole new level.