"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Delain - "Lucidity (reissue)" (CD)

Delain - "Lucidity (reissue)" CD cover image

"Lucidity (reissue)" track listing:

1. Sever (4:52)
2. Frozen (4:43)
3. Silhouette Of A Dancer (5:24)
4. No Compliance (5:09)
5. See Me In shadow (4:40)
6. Shattered (4:19)
7. The Gathering (3:34)
8. Daylight Lucidity (4:35)
9. Sleepwalkers Dream (4:27)
10. A Day For Ghosts (3:37)
11. Pristine (4:31)

Bonus Tracks:
12. (Deep) Frozen (4:44)
13. Frozen (acoustic) (4:31)
14. Silhouette Of A Dancer (acoustic) (3:23)
15. See Me In Shadow (acoustic) (3:38)
16. No Compliance (5:09)

Reviewed by on January 31, 2011

"'…the tracks are pretty standard fare power and symphonic female-fronted metal with the occasional death growl thrown in pretty unnecessarily.'"

Delain is one of those unusual female-fronted Euro bands that seems to still be finding its niche in the metal world. Often blurring the lines between hard rock, power metal and symphonic, they don't really fit one genre, but vocalist Charlotte Wessel's voice is diverse enough to get the job done no matter what the recipe calls for.

Their debut album "Lucidity" has been recently re-released and finds them delving more into the symphonic realm, with heavy use of orchestral instruments, in particular cellos. The deep, almost melancholic sounds of this instrument work really well with Charlotte's mid-range, rich voice, and are a nice deviation from the standard brass collection. The opening track "Sever" pairs the two beautifully, and mixes in a power metal tempo and a backup choir. The only flaw with this track is the choir is hard to understand.

"Silhouette Of A Dancer" is more diverse, mixing a grainy, old school punk sound in the intro with chugging guitars and symphonic instruments. The tune is a series of shifts in tempo and style, but each transition is seamless. What doesn't seem like it will work does and the end result is unique and impressive. The combination of Charlotte's almost ballady vocals and the death growls offered up by Marco Hietela give it a bit of an Epica feel, but there's no sense that Delain is trying to copy someone else's style.

"No Compliance" is the follow-up track and composition wise it's pretty good, but the guest vocals by Sharon den Adel are lackluster. Her mid-range voice seems strangled on the higher notes and she has a tendency to sound very nasally. The secondary version of this song found in the bonus tracks has Charlotte taking the role of vocalist and the results are much better.

Speaking of bonus tracks, there are quite a few on "Lucidity," but really they are nothing more than modified versions of the original. There are acoustic versions of "Frozen," "Silhouette Of A Dancer," and "See Me In Shadow," and while they're all nice, none of them are better than the originals and so the addition as bonus tracks seems pointless. There is a second bonus version of "Frozen" that actually is worth a listen, as it includes some more of Hietela's death growls and gives an overall heavier sound.

The rest of the tracks are decent but not stellar, though mention should be made of "See Me In Shadow." This is an 80's feeling ballad with Liv Kristine performing a duet with Charlotte, and until the end where symphonic sounds are added it almost has a Heart feel to it. Otherwise the rest of the songs are pretty standard fare power and symphonic female-fronted metal with the occasional death growl thrown in pretty unnecessarily. Reissuing this debut does nothing to further their cause.

Highs: Charlotte's vocals are solid as usual, and the use of cellos gives a rich feel to the compositions.

Lows: The middle of the album becomes repetitive, and the inclusion of modified versions of the tracks as bonus songs is unnecessary.

Bottom line: A pleasant but unimpressive album that has the occasional golden moment, but does little to warrant a reissue.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)