Delain

Album Review: Delain – We Are The Others

Look at the greatest albums in history. Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ for example. It is regarded as such because of the way it is structured; it might not have been so great had ‘Brain Damage’ opened the album. Likewise with Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’ – what sense would there be in starting things off with ‘Idioteque’?

Here lies the problem with Delain’s third album ‘We Are The Others.’ It doesn’t so much feel like an album as it does a collection of songs. While their last release ‘April Rain’ had a similar sound and atmosphere linking all of its songs together, along with multiple appearances of Nightwish bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala, ‘We Are The Others’ feels like a mish mash of proposed singles – a greatest hits collection, without testing each track’s longevity fiDelain We Are The Others Artworkrst.

That’s not to take away from the strength of the tracks on offer here. Lead single ‘Get The Devil Out Of Me’ would rightly be on a Delain “best-of” compilation with its accessible sound, stomping rock verses and effortless chorus. Opener ‘Mother Machine’ begins with the heaviest riff Delain have ever penned, before twisting and turning into a majestic refrain.

Then again, tracks like ‘I Want You’ and ‘Where is the Blood’ pop up half-way through ‘We Are The Others’ to put a damper on things. The former is unremarkable in almost every way, apart from a post-chorus riff that tries to inject some genius into the track but ultimately fails. The latter sees Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory showing up, replacing Marco Hietala as the go-to guy for male vocals on this album. Where Hietala fitted in seamlessly, Bell’s vocals single-handedly ruin the song by feeling so out of place on an already weak track.

While ‘Babylon’ is only marginally better due to Charlotte Wessels’ beautiful vocals, and closer ‘Not Enough’ goes on more than enough, the rest of the album is worthy of high praise. ‘Milk and Honey’ in particular feels awkward due to its slightly electronic vibe and its unconventional-sounding chorus, but it all clicks to make for a killer track. ‘Generation Me’ is one of the more human songs that a symphonic metal band has written, with even a subtle reference to Twitter in there somewhere.

If Delain are remembered for one thing, it ought to be this album’s title track. ‘We Are The Others’ is the most perfect thing they have created thus far; an outsider’s anthem, written in response to Sophie Lancaster’s murder, which is believed to have been provoked due to her gothic attire. Not only is it refreshing to hear a symphonic metal act deal with such a “real” topic, it manages to sound like a soaring anthem that is instantly timeless and memorable.

By no means a perfect album, ‘We Are The Others’ does have enough rewards to warrant multiple listens. Don’t be surprised though that, just like a greatest hits record, you skip a few tracks along the way.

Rating – 7

     

About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

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