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Review: Delain - April Rain
April Rain

Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 45:42
Tracks: 11
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: September 6, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating
April Rain

Rated 4.31/5 (86.15%) (26 Votes)

You know, originality is not the only thing that can make a band good. Indeed, simple heart and conviction can take a band just as far as pioneering a new kind of music can. Just liken it to the college student who makes it into the big leagues because of his determination instead of money, looks or fame, like the antagonists of the world did, scoundrels as they are. That's what Delain are like, and if their debut Lucidity was where they showed the world what they could do, this new album April Rain is the fruit of all their hard work since then.

The formula here is basic female-fronted metal-lite at its best. The cover is a little self indulgent, but we can forgive them for that because it's stylish and sleek and definitely pretty sexy looking. The first thing I have to talk about is vocalist Charlotte Wessels, who is by far the best thing about this. She was good on the debut, with excellent control to her voice, but here she just shines. Her voice is just so warm and delicate, carrying a stunning amount of power, but executed in such a pristine, crystal clear way that it's irresistible. And the choruses are just wonderful, flowing effortlessly out of the speakers with the most smooth, mesmerizing tones you could ever imagine - it's simply something you have to hear for yourself. Charlotte Wessels is so good that her voice alone could make any man melt, no matter who you are, where you come from or what. Miss Wessels, hats off to you for being awesome.

Musically, the main strength is just how well Martijn Westerholt created subtle, simple emotional backdrops for each track, matching up lyrics and vocals into a package that is both sincere and streamlined to a polished tee, velveteen and romantic in every way. Each song has rather direct musical hooks, but they also have well written emotional ones, too, and everyone who listens to this album will probably like different ones. That's a good sign. But in the interest of elaborating on the music here a little more, my favorite ones include the excellent opening duo of the title track and "Stay Forever," marking one of the signatures of this album in their enthralling chorus melodies, the Marco Hietala-guested song "Control the Storm" with its booming hooks and aggressive symphonics, the spacey, syncopated "On The Other Side" and the excellent "Start Swimming," which transitions seamlessly from soft to heavy - you barely even notice in the mire of hypnotic, starry-eyed theatrics the band employs. Kick ass song.

But all of the songs are good to some degree, and like I said, everyone will probably find comfort in different ones. It just depends on the individual, this one does. April Rain is one of my favorite albums this year, boasting confidence, control and a cool charm with every note. It is rather humorous, though, how Marco Hietala or other Tarot members seemingly have to appear in every single female-fronted release coming out of the Scandinavian regions. Good god, what a bunch of man-whores.

Other related information on the site
Review: April Rain (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Lucidity (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Moonbathers (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Human Contradiction (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: We Are The Others (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: We Are The Others (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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