Moonbathers (2016)

Often viewed internationally as another step back, this 5th full album was released in 2016 and charted reasonably well in the Netherlands, topping out at #15. Though it had the best artwork of the bunch (in my opinion), I’d probably name Moonbathers the weakest album. While there were still a handful of songs that I liked, there wasn’t the same appeal of listening to the whole thing on repeat over and over and over. Preceded out in 2016 by the Lunar Prelude (which I’ve previously mentioned (Sunday, I think)), Moonbathers included five original good songs, plus one cover, and the two put out by the previous EP.

Danse Macabre

This album I actually scrapped my original two songs in favor of two more that appealed to me more when I went back later to review the post. While the Monarch is a great song, it comes at the tail end of the album and is mostly an instrumental track—nothing wrong with that, just not what I felt like this week. Danse Macabre seemed more fitting for the band’s swan song.

Fire With Fire

Fire With Fire replaced the cover of Queen’s Scandal on this list. Both are strong, appealing tracks, but again, I just ended up enjoying Fire With Fire more when I listened midweek.

The Human Contradiction (2014)

If We Are the Others was Delain’s first major step onto the scene, The Human Contradiction was its first step back. Personally I loved it, but critics noted that it didn’t push the envelope like the previous albums did, instead settling into a niche and focusing on crafting its product. The album, released in 2014, didn’t chart as high as its predecessors, despite some beautiful lyrics from Wessels and a combination of metal themes, heavy ballads, and lovely vocals. Apparently, the album’s title was inspired by Octavia E. Bulter’s Dawn (which still sits on my TBR).

Sing to Me

With so many albums, I’ve an impossible task trying to pick out my favorite song. Occasionally, there’ll be one constant that sticks head and shoulders above the rest. But with others—especially the kind of bands like Delain—there’s more of a rotation of songs that I run through depending on my mood. And so, for all these albums (minus maybe the next one) I had a difficult time choosing even two songs to use and another dozen to exclude. So if you maybe like them, try just listening to the whole album. Or if you don’t, maybe skip the next two days (lol).

Stardust

We Are the Others (2012)

The third full album from Delain was its first international success. While already proving popular in the Netherlands and on the Symphonic Metal scene, We Are the Others attained appearances on several international charts, including #3 on the UK’s Rock chart. This 2012 release was also a big hit at home, securing its first Top 5 position in the Dutch chart and topping the Dutch Alternative one once again. We Are the Others was the first album to feature the core of Delain’s personnel—with Timo Somers and Otto Schimmelpennick joining Westerholt and Wessels.

Babylon

Electricity

April Rain (2009)

The second album from newly fully-formed Delain proved to be a great success. Released in 2009, it reached #1 on the Dutch Alternative and #14 on the overall Dutch charts. Instead of the focus relying heavily on guest contributions like Lucidity, April Rain featured only a couple, instead focusing primarily on the fully-formed band, and vocals by Wessels to power the album.

April Rain was released maybe a month after I first listened to Lucidity. I remember immediately loving this one, even more than Lucidity before it. I also remember the girl I was seeing at the time hated it. Honestly… not much else. It’s funny what you remember, innit? As happens with me, I now associate her with one of the songs (not saying which one, but) (I do that—some people, particularly those I’m closest to get their own theme song kinda—dunno why, but it’s a thing). So there are certain songs I now avoid due to the sometimes unwelcome memories they bring. This album is awesome, but it just so happens to have one such.

April Rain

Go Away

Well, tomorrow’ll be We Are The Others, the album that really helped sell Delain as an international success.

Lucidity (2006)

Lucidity was the first full-length album released by Delain, back in 2006. At this point the band was just a collaboration between Westerholt and Charlotte Wessels—with studio musicians to fill out the ranks. The album also relied heavily on guest appearances, the success of which prompted Westerholt to flesh out the band rather than calling it a one-off.

Forget the first time I heard this, though I remember it was in connection with Within Temptation albums. I do remember I immediately enjoyed it, and binged the album on repeat over the next few weeks.

The Gathering

Note: I’ve never watched the any of these videos and am not about to start now. I just like the songs. Music, awesome; music videos, meh.

Shattered

Sleepwalker’s Dream

Congratulations if you reached the end of this successfully! Whether you read and listened your way down, or just skipped to the end doesn’t particularly matter to me, I just hope you enjoyed it. Delain has brought me so much joy over the years I figure this is almost the least I can do to honor them. Tomorrow, April Rain.

Delain: End of an Era

Delain has been one of my favorite bands since I discovered them back in 2008. They inhabited the interesting genre known as symphonic metal, which combines the raw sound of metal with classically gothic vocals. Formed back in 2002 when Martjin Westerholt left Within Temptation, Delain started as a solo project where Westerholt collaborated with different musicians to produce his demo. Then in 2005, he met Charlotte Wessels, and the pair became the framework for Delain. Sixteen years, six full-length, and two EP albums later and Delain is once again becoming a solo project, as everyone but Westerholt has departed the band to pursue other avenues. It’s incredibly disappointing, but I know people have to live their lives how they see fit. I just can’t help but feeling that 2020 hath claimed another victim. While fans have been repeatedly reassured that everyone from Delain will remain in the music industry in some form, I can’t help but compare this to the last great disappointment in symphonic metal when Manda Ophuis left Nemesea in 2016 (granted, she left to pursue her passion of working with special needs children, so it’s kinda hard to fault that).

Hunter’s Moon is also probably my favorite piece of album artwork, though I can’t tell you exactly why.

For the following six days, I’m going to be posting a brief on each of their six albums, along with my favorite song (or two) off them. So if you don’t enjoy this first post, maybe just skip the next six, eh? I won’t be offended—promise.

Hunter’s Moon was an EP (extended play) released in 2018. It featured four brand new, unreleased songs, along with ten additional live performances of existing songs. The following is one of my favorite tracks from the album. Later, there’s Invidia, off the extremely popular April Rain album.