Delain - We Are The Others
Napalm Records
Pop Metal
16 songs (65' 0")
Release year: 2012
Napalm Records
Reviewed by Andy

Goth pop metal outfit Delain has been well-received in some quarters, but let's be brutally honest -- this is a commercial band with a commercial and formulaic offering. Sometimes that's OK, and like past reviewers, I spent a good deal of time trying to see value in their music -- in this case, their newest full-length, We Are The Others. But they haven't changed their formula much, and at the end one is led to regretfully conclude that this is a fairly talented band that has not produced anything particularly surprising -- or exciting.

Slickly produced and without any rough edges, almost every song consists of a bit of nu-metal riffing with techno lines and then a piano-driven hush for vocalist Charlotte Wessels' verses, followed by a chorus with strummed power chords. Each song likewise has a mid-tempo pop/rock beat and bassline, and they don't change a whole lot, while the choruses range from fairly aimless to melodic and driven. Wessels' voice is surprisingly good; her singing is clear and strong, and she has a fairly wide range -- when the songs let her use it, which isn't often. For the most part, Delain eschews the Nightwish-style "Beauty and the Beast" duets that I'd been dreading when I picked up this album, for which they can be sincerely thanked. Mother Machine and Electricity had more metal riffs than I expected, but the complete lack of creativity in the riffs make them sound like album filler -- and they're the first two tracks.

The title track's got better a chorus hook, with a synth background and a more techno/dance-ish beat. Wessels gets to let her voice out a bit and it becomes clear she has a range that the first two tracks, like most of the ones on this album, didn't really let her use. The next two tracks are both supposed to be a bit darker and more emotional, I think, but Wessels' voice is just a little too poppy for its own good, and occasionally what's supposed to sound sadder or angrier just sounds like she's amused by the whole thing. After a rather bland ballad, Burton C Bell from Fear Factory takes a turn on the duet circuit in Where is the Blood. He's OK considering the material he is working with, but the song isn't particularly suited for his talents, and his harsh shouts on the chorus, while perfect for his own albums, sound out of place on this one.

There are a few more dance-beat tracks thrown in, which are also fairly forgettable, with the exception of Are You Done With Me. Radio-friendly to the extreme, it's nonetheless one of the few songs that I could say had some genuine force behind it. Wessels finally puts some more emotion into her voice than usual, and the chorus has a great melody, even though we're definitely out of metal territory here. Unfortunately, the last two studio tracks don't keep it up and revert right back to the more generic feel of the preceding tracks. Finally, in the extended version of the album, which I received for reviewing, they tack on four live tracks from performances of songs from past albums, mostly showcasing Wessels' duets.

Listeners who enjoyed Delain's work in the past are probably going to like We Are The Others. Most metal fans, or even hard rock fans, should probably avoid it. Their vocalist, while good, isn't enough to make up for the mediocrity of this album, and there frankly are so many great female-fronted rock and metal bands that there is no reason to have this one on your playlist.

Killing Songs :
Are You Done With Me
Andy quoted 60 / 100
Other albums by Delain that we have reviewed:
Delain - The Human Contradiction reviewed by Joel and quoted 82 / 100
Delain - Lucidity reviewed by Vrechek and quoted 40 / 100
Delain - April Rain reviewed by Alex and quoted 60 / 100
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