Rating:
8.0
Delain - April Rain
30 March 2009


01. April Rain
02. Stay Forever
03. Invidia
04. Control The Storm
05. On The Other Side
06. Virtue And Vice
07. Go Away
08. Start Swimming
09. Lost
10. I'll Reach You
11. Nothing Left
12. Come Closer [limited edition bonus]
13. No Compliance [Charlotte version] [Japanese bonus]


What started as a project, later became what we know today as Delain. Their debut album was more than welcome by the metal industry. Containing catchy songs and featuring plenty of guest appearances, Lucidity provided the band a great beginning of their career. In 2009, Delain returned with their second studio album April Rain, ready to enlarge their fanbase and establish themselves on the scene.

Delain is surely not your typical Symphonic metal band. Their music lacks operatic vocals and usually follows the hit formula of compositions - introduction, 2 verses, melodic chorus, overall short duration of each song, etc. This, however, could be considered an advantage because it makes the band's music sound different compared to other Symphonic metal acts. On the other hand, I could not help but call Delain a "mainstream-ish" band. The arguably clever marketing strategies of their label surely placed them on top of female-fronted metal. A demonstrative example of that is the production of the album which is nearly perfect.

In comparison with the previous release, April Rain is a bit weaker but more experimental as well. This could be recognized on tracks such as "Go Away" that has a good dramatic orchestration and "On The Other Side" which contains pretty interesting cello parts. A guest appearance is not missing again - Marco Hietala has yet added some power and energy to two of the songs off the record, "Control The Storm" and "Nothing Left." This time, though, the band has decided to focus more on their actual talent and skills. Evidently, Charlotte Wessels' voice has improved significantly and that has helped to create a rather distinct sound. On April Rain, one could easily discover the difference between her vocal parts on both albums. Apart from Hietala's appearance, other male vocals are also to be heard on the record - both normal ones and growls done by former Delain member Ronald Landa. Honestly, it does not seem as if growls are necessarily needed in the band's music, but the guy has definitely done a nice job on the song.

Quite a big flaw of the album is the totally uninspiring and cliché lyrics. In contrast with the music itself that has, seemingly, been made with huge effort, there is nothing indeed emotional and original about them. Composers have put all their creativity and skills into use, whereas lyric writers simply have not managed to succeed in creating decent lines.

In conclusion, we could call April Rain an easy-listening album. Musically, it is a bit experimental, but still - nothing special to be seriously impressed by. Moreover, the record shows a significant absence of originality. "Control The Storm," "Virtue And Vice," and "Nothing Left" are among the best songs off the record. I am not sure if I would name April Rain one of the outstanding Symphonic metal albums of 2009, but it surely is entertaining. Delain's music could be humorously described as "well-made mainstream female-fronted metal." We shall see if they will surprise us with their forthcoming record...

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 9


Band profile: Delain
Album: April Rain


 


written by Elodie Artour | 21.09.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Fat & Sassy! - 21.09.2010 at 23:55  
Good, honest review, Elodie. Even if the score kinda conflicts with your thoughts in the final paragraph.
Elodie Artour - 22.09.2010 at 00:57  
Thanks, man! It may look as if the score kinda conflicts with my thoughts because of performance and production which give additional points to the final rating.
Lovecraft - 22.09.2010 at 01:33  
In comparison with the previous release, April Rain is a bit weaker but more experimental as well.

Quite a big flaw of the album is the totally uninspiring and cliché lyrics.

In conclusion, we could call April Rain an easy-listening album.

Delain's music could be humorously described as "well-made mainstream female-fronted metal." We shall see if they will surprise us with their forthcoming record...

I couldn't agree more! You read my mind. Well done on the review!

I like Delain, but they are weak, imo.
Elodie Artour - 22.09.2010 at 01:46  
Wow

LOL, thanks! When I started reading those quotes, it felt as if you were gonna criticize me about the whole review. Nice to know we share similar points of view on this one. And, YES, Delain indeed aren't among the best female-fronted metal acts.
dismaleuphony - 22.09.2010 at 04:20  
Yes, excellent review Sums up everything I'd have said as well, and it's exactly those totally bland lyrics that keep me from replaying the album once listening to it. I still however, enjoy this album more than their debut, mainly because the production is huge here, and this is more of a band, and less of the (obvious) project feel.

Charlotte sounded great live, even better than her already big improvement on this disc, at last year's MFVF
Elodie Artour - 22.09.2010 at 14:36  
Thank you, Jason! I'm not sure which Delain album I actually prefer - both have some kick-ass-songs that make me wonder... However, "Lucidity" is definitely better than "April Rain." And it's not only because of all those guest appearances. It sounds more massive and...Symphonic.
Marcel Hubregtse - 22.09.2010 at 15:12  
Written by Elodie Artour on 22.09.2010 at 14:36

It sounds more massive and...Symphonic.


Because of the number of people participating
Elodie Artour - 22.09.2010 at 15:20  
Now that I'm listening to "Lucidity" (which I haven't done in quite a while) I can once again state it's definitely more massive and sort of more Symphonic but it's not because of the guest appearances on it. "April Rain" is totally mainstream, whereas the first record is more than just enjoyable; it actually fits the standards of female-fronted metal.
annodomini - 22.09.2010 at 16:19  
I found both albums interesting and enjoyable in different ways. Delain supposed to be a mainstream band, and as a mainstream band they are great, because all songs has strong compositions. I am looking forward to a new album with a full real orchestra, and I hope that we will get more dynamic music, but even if it won't happen, I am sure that the album will be absolutely great.
Marcel Hubregtse - 22.09.2010 at 16:27  
Written by Elodie Artour on 22.09.2010 at 15:20

Now that I'm listening to "Lucidity" (which I haven't done in quite a while) I can once again state it's definitely more massive and sort of more Symphonic but it's not because of the guest appearances on it. "April Rain" is totally mainstream, whereas the first record is more than just enjoyable; it actually fits the standards of female-fronted metal.


Sorry, but the first album also is totally mainstream. That sort of female fronted metal is totally mainstream.
Ag Fox - 22.09.2010 at 16:39  
I was planning a review for this album, but I don't need to know since you've said it better than I could ^^
Elodie Artour - 22.09.2010 at 16:55  
@Ag Fox: Haha, nice.

@Marcel: It depends on each single band. As for examlpe, Theatre Of Tragedy were totally not mainstream during their golden era. Symphonic metal, as a whole, is definitely a popular and commercial genre, I agree. Delain are just way too 'mainstreamish.'
The Shape 1973 - 22.09.2010 at 18:39  
Well written review. You summed up my views exactly. Good album to listen to, easy on the ear, but not much depth for repeated listenings.

I would like to see them going a bit heavier in the future, Whyzdom's debut would be a good example of a slightly rawer female fronted band.

They are better in the studio than live, as when I saw them I thought Charlotte's vocals were a bit weak compared to someone like Floor Jensen.
Elodie Artour - 22.09.2010 at 20:04  
It seems like if it comes to Charlotte's live performances, people don't share same opinion. Her voice is indeed weak, though. That's just the way it is - poppy, 'normal,', sweet. However, she doesn't sound that different live compared to the studio versions and that surely is a great thing. In addition, her voice may be a bit weak but she does do a nice job at gigs.
mariano - 23.09.2010 at 22:50  
Nice review, although I'm not sure if I agree on tagging Delain as a Symphonic Metal band... they sound more like a Gothic band to me, like Stream of Passion or Within Temptation.

But hey, there so many different sub-styles out there, so who knows what makes a band sound symphonic after all...
Elodie Artour - 24.09.2010 at 16:27  
Well, before starting to review "April Rain," I was pretty uncertain how to call their music. On here, they were listed as Symphonic metal, so...

By the way, acts such as Stream of Passion and WT have actually nothing to do with Gothic metal. A Gothic metal band is, for instance, Tiamat.
advent - 25.09.2010 at 03:40  
I never was interested in Delain or Symphonic metal, but ur review is well-written .

"Quite a big flaw of the album is the totally uninspiring and cliché lyrics."

Well it is a big flaw of most metal Gothic / Symphonic metal albums .
Elodie Artour - 25.09.2010 at 19:26  
Unfortunately, you're probably right.

Thanks anyway!
ErnilEnNaur - 30.01.2011 at 01:21  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 22.09.2010 at 18:39

They are better in the studio than live, as when I saw them I thought Charlotte's vocals were a bit weak compared to someone like Floor Jensen.


That's not really a fair comparison though. A man called William Shakesman once wrote: "What's in a name?" A lot, that's what's in a name. Clint Eastwood is an anagram of old west action, Marie Curie is an anagram of radium came and Floor's first name is such, because she wipes the floor with her competition.
The Shape 1973 - 30.01.2011 at 14:40  
Written by Guest on 30.01.2011 at 01:21

Written by The Shape 1973 on 22.09.2010 at 18:39

They are better in the studio than live, as when I saw them I thought Charlotte's vocals were a bit weak compared to someone like Floor Jensen.


That's not really a fair comparison though. A man called William Shakesman once wrote: "What's in a name?" A lot, that's what's in a name. Clint Eastwood is an anagram of old west action, Marie Curie is an anagram of radium came and Floor's first name is such, because she wipes the floor with her competition.

ErnilEnNaur - 30.01.2011 at 18:04  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 30.01.2011 at 14:40

Written by Guest on 30.01.2011 at 01:21

Written by The Shape 1973 on 22.09.2010 at 18:39

They are better in the studio than live, as when I saw them I thought Charlotte's vocals were a bit weak compared to someone like Floor Jensen.


That's not really a fair comparison though. A man called William Shakesman once wrote: "What's in a name?" A lot, that's what's in a name. Clint Eastwood is an anagram of old west action, Marie Curie is an anagram of radium came and Floor's first name is such, because she wipes the floor with her competition.




OK, here's the translation: Floor Jansen is such a superb vocalist that everyone is weak compared to her, so saying that Charlotte's vocals aren't as good as Floor's is pointing out the obvious.
The Shape 1973 - 31.01.2011 at 11:46  
Written by Guest on 30.01.2011 at 18:04

Written by The Shape 1973 on 30.01.2011 at 14:40

Written by Guest on 30.01.2011 at 01:21

Written by The Shape 1973 on 22.09.2010 at 18:39

They are better in the studio than live, as when I saw them I thought Charlotte's vocals were a bit weak compared to someone like Floor Jensen.


That's not really a fair comparison though. A man called William Shakesman once wrote: "What's in a name?" A lot, that's what's in a name. Clint Eastwood is an anagram of old west action, Marie Curie is an anagram of radium came and Floor's first name is such, because she wipes the floor with her competition.




OK, here's the translation: Floor Jansen is such a superb vocalist that everyone is weak compared to her, so saying that Charlotte's vocals aren't as good as Floor's is pointing out the obvious.


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