REVIEW: Delain - The Human Contradiction

Genre: Symphonic Metal
Label: Napalm
Date of Release: April 4, 2014


Delain formed in 2002 in Zwolle, and has since grown into one of the thrones of Dutch symphonic metal along with Epica and Within Temptation. In 2014, the band would release their fourth full-length entitled "The Human Contradiction."

This album has plenty to offer. Every song delivers something at least somewhat different while staying true to the band's symphonic metal roots. Some songs are straight-forward in their root genre, such as "Stardust" and "Sing to Me," but others have more of a electronic pop edge to them, especially "Your Body is a Battleground," which will be delved into more later in this review.

Part of this comes from the sleuth of guest vocalists, including Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy, ex-The Agonist) and Marco Hietala (Nightwish), giving their respective songs more of an edge. Other appearances include those of George Oosthoek (Celestial Season) and Oliver Phillipps (Everon), and each one of them is utilized very well in this album.

The best aspect of this record, however, would definitely be the lead singing. Charlotte Wessels has a lot of depth and power in her voice, and that is what truly separates this album from most other releases of the same genre. This singing plays a vital part in delivering the album's atmosphere, mostly generated from some incredibly potent melodies. It's easily the highlight of what "The Human Contradiction" so likable.

Despite fundamentally being a symphonic metal album, it actually does have a poppy edge to it. However, riding off of the songs having a great sense of variety, this album takes advantage of the melodies and electronic effects by using them to add more build-up and atmosphere within the tracks. Along with the varied tones and melodies of each song, this is a great example of how attentive to detail the record is.

"The Human Contradiction" is a great symphonic metal piece. Although certain songs are a bit more memorable than others, the album as a whole is very enjoyable and well made. The tracks are really diverse, the melodies stick to the listener, and most of all, the singing is quite breathtaking. Even those who aren't attached to symphonic metal (or even metal in general) are recommended to this empowering release.

Score: 9/10 (Excellent)