Delain - "We Are The Others" (CD)
"We Are The Others" track listing:
1. Mother Machine (4:34)
2. Electricity (4:14)
3. We Are the Others (3:17)
4. Milk and Honey (4:26)
5. Hit Me with Your Best Shot (3:59)
6. I Want You (4:52)
7. Where Is the Blood (3:16)
8. Generation Me (3:43)
9. Babylon (4:06)
10. Are You Done with Me? (3:05)
11. Get the Devil Out of Me (3:21)
12. Not Enough (4:43)
Reviewed by CROMCarl on July 26, 2012
Make no bones about it, it took a great deal of listens for me to warm up to “We Are the Others.” On first blush, I verbally chastised Delain for copying the same formula that Within Temptation used to redefine itself on “The Unforgiving.” Ironically, it was for that reason that I found “We Are the Others” a bit unforgiving (ignoring the fact that keyboardist Martijn Westerholt is the brother of Within Temptation composer Peter Westerholt). However, the more I continued to listen and let it breathe a little from my first impressions, I started to recognize just how much a fungus can grow on you. After preaching on about elevated expectation levels, it appears I still have a bit to learn about practicing it. One thing was never in doubt, Delain is a talent to behold and the sound and production of “We Are the Others” is pristine. This review is presented as an example of why it is so essential for a critic to avoid impulsive lest he regret it later.
On the topic of expectation levels, “April Rain” had set a new bar for the Dutch act. Expecting the same from “We Are the Others” nearly damned it to failure. Though “April Rain” was lighter - it sort of makes “We Are the Others” sound like pop metal on first listen. However, if you take the album as a “music” release with no comparisons, as if listening to the band for the very first time, “We Are the Others” presents the most mature sound the band ever had. Elevated poppiness aside, I had praised both Nightwish and Epica for introducing the refreshing and exciting element of “eroticism” into the mixes that gave it more character. Right under my nose, Delain bathes the entire album in a vat of seduction and comes out smelling stimulating. “Milk And Honey” and “I Want You” present the perfect examples: a sultry vocal over the grinding guitar with that little “energetic” techno punch lifted straight from After Forever’s eponymous and final 2007 release.
“Mother Machine,” “Electricity,” “Babylon,” and “Get the Devil Out of Me” provide all the power the album needs to satisfy the need for heaviness for heaviness sake, as does the unmistakable presence of Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell on “Where is the Blood.” These songs represent the absolute pinnacle of the album for me, as originally thought. The rest of the album turns out to be an intriguing and energetic blend of gothic, metal, rock, a wisp of techno, and yes pop music. As much as it “hit me with the wrong shot” on first blush, songs like “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (NOT a Pat Benetar cover) and “Not Enough,” are just great rock tunes.
The one song I fail to reconcile with is “Are You Done With Me?,” as I simply cannot shake the cringe of hearing the Shania Twain twang that Charlotte Wessels employs. Despite that one flaw, Wessels is the glue that binds this album. She is an exceedingly great vocalist with one of the most powerful and perfect female voices in the business.
The lesson learned on “We Are the Others” is that there is much more that lies beneath a seemingly “lightened” surface. The energy level is undeniable and more and more contagious with each successive listen. For those unsure on whether to take a chance on the album, heed my words and give it more than just a whirl to pass judgment.
Highs: Highly energetic blend of gothic, metal, rock, and pop. Wessels shines.
Lows: The "lightened" nature might not appeal to those seeking heavy. I am done trying to reconcile "Are You Done With Me?"
Bottom line: Despite the contradictory title, "We Are the Others" really is Delain.
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