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April Rain

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★½
(15 Reviews)

Delain Biography - Delain Discography - All Heavy Metal Bands

Description

U.S. pressing includes the exclusive bonus track ’Come Closer’. 2009 release, the much anticipated sophomore album from this band led by ex-Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt. With Charlotte Wessels on vocals, Ronald Landa on guitar and grunt vocals, Sun Caged bassist Rob Vander Loo and Sander Zoer on drums, Delain took Europe by storm. April Rain is THE symphonic Gothic Metal album of 2009. The album debuted on the Dutch Top 100 charts at #14 and at #1 on the Dutch Alternative Charts. The band just completed a tour as support of Kamelot which was immediately followed by their European headlining tour.

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  • I was walking through the store shortly before the holidays, and I just somehow stumbled upon this CD, which I was attracted to, not because of it’s quasi-gothic artistic cover commonplace with the bands I’ve gotten into over the past 5-6 years or so, but a sign on the front telling me that it’s from a former composer of Within Temptation, which is easily one of my favorites of this list of bands I’ve gotten into. And so I popped it in, and I listened to it, and for the most part, my high expectations were to an extent met. All – not most, but all, of these songs have some solid rock elements, some well-composed orchestral elements, and even some slight elements of ‘good’ pop; that is, that slight bit of bubbly energy and an additional metalic sound, versus something that sounds like Brittany Spears. However, while this album has no real downers, I can’t say that any songs really blew me away. Let’s just say that on my iTunes, I’ve ranked all the songs a 4/5 rating, none a 5/5, none a 3/5 or lower.

    There are a few slight highlights. The first song, the title song ‘April Rain’ keeps a nice consistent sound that’s always pleasing and fun, if a tad traditional. And towards the end of the album is ‘I’ll Reach You’, a song which sounds good for the most part, but certainly climaxes with a chorus that sounds like it’s from a truly exceptional song; the problem is that the bulk of the song isn’t as strong. The same, or opposite, could be said about the third song, ‘Invidia’ (no relation, I’m thinking, to the graphics card company NVidia), which starts off truly beautiful, almost hauntingly and mesmerizingly, but during it’s chorus, turns almost nasty. The same types of problems are throughout the album – every song, pretty much, has segments that are excellent, and segments that are just good.

    There is also one other thing I should mention, which is that the mixing doesn’t seem that great. The mixing sounds a lot like ‘Enter’, the first Within Temptation CD, which was well composed as well, but certainly not as sharp-sounding as something such as their later album ‘The Silent Force’, or Nightwish’s ‘Dark Passions Play’ – if you don’t like those albums, just note that I’m merely pointing out the sound quality. This album is, by contrast, very light on both the lows and highs, mostly in the middle-frequency range. Luckily, it’s clear enough, lacking such problems of other albums like the piano being swallowed up by the guitar/bass.

    Overall a good CD – I only discovered moments ago that there was another CD previously released, so I cannot state which is superior, but I can say that if you’re a fan of groups like Within Temptation, Nightwish, or particulartly Sirenia, you should get a reasonable amount of enjoyment from this.

    Posted on March 13, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is pop music masquerading as symphonic metal. Many songs such as the opener will start out with a crunching heavy metal riff and then transition into a straight up pop song with a verse/chorus/verse structure and an occasional breakdown. The drums are annoying and I suspect an electronic kit was used. It is hard to tell if the vocalist has true talent because there are so many layers of singing at all times. Overall, the CD sounds overproduced. Listeners new to the genre should check out Nightwish or After Forever before moving on to Delain. The highlight of the album is the guest appearance of Marco Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot)with vocals on 2 songs.

    Posted on March 13, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • So take the beautiful vocals of Karen Carpenter, along with the piano sounds from their albums and then add a symphonic/soundtrackish metal backdrop and you have Delain’s new album. What a contrast!

    The music is heavy in parts, peaceful in others and Charlotte’s vocals are clean and pure as April Rain. She really sounds like Karen Carpenter (USA pop vocalist from the ’70s, look it up) and she never breaks out of that sound. It’s easy to listen to and very refreshing.

    Since the band is Dutch there are a few pronounciation flaws, but otherwise her singing is beautiful and the music provides a good match and a good contrast. I could do without Marko’s (from Nightwish) growly vocals on “Virtue and Vice”, but IMHO the album is great all the way through outside of that part of that one track. One of my favorite tracks is the bonus track, “Come Closer”. It doesn’t match the weight of some of the other songs, but the production quality is a match and the feel fits the rest of the album.

    This album is a bit of a “chill out” compared to some of the bombast of Within Temptation or the crunch of Nightwish, but it’s worth a listen if you love those bands and you’re in a lighter mood.

    Posted on March 13, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Before I start this review, let me make one thing clear: I love this album. It is so much fun to listen to.

    Now, the first I heard of this band was when I heard they were founded by the former keyboardist of Within Temptation. Then I heard this album had Marco Hietala doing some guest vocals on a couple songs. After hearing these things, I was greatly intrigued. After buying the album and listening to them for a good month or so now, I can pretty safely say that they’re not really like either band. I’d more closely equate them to a darker version of Visions of Atlantis or Edenbridge, although they still have a unique enough sound to be distiguishable from all the other Symphonic Metal bands.

    That’s probably because they seem to place more emphasis on the “Metal” part of that label than most other bands of the genre. The vocals are your standard-fare alto female combined with various male vocal parts, both growled and sung. They are much heavier than most Symphonic Metal bands and are not shy with the breakdowns (hence the title of this review), and when combined with the epic choir/strings played on the keyboards, it all combines to create some really powerful music. The breakdown in “Go Away” especially lends itself to this point; I could listen to that one part over and over for a long time.

    Which brings me to my first complaint with the band. It’s more of my own personal preference, but I would love it if these songs were longer. I’ve been inundated with Nightwish and Epica, which makes me really used to an average of six or seven minutes per song. Delain only has one that’s over five minutes, and it’s the slowest one (not that that’s a problem). Again, probably my own preference, but I think they’d do a lot better if they could lengthen some of their songs.

    My main problem with the music, though, is that it seems to lack maturity or range. Delain seems content with bringing you the adrenaline rush more commonly associated with the heavier sub-genres of metal, without looking to evoke a wider range of emotions. Say what you will about Nightwish’s Dark Passion Play, but you can’t really deny that it can take you from tension and suspense, to anger, to sadness, and ultimately to triumph. Delain just doesn’t do that. They almost perfectly mix heavier metal stylings with symphonic elements to create amazingly powerful music, but it lacks the depth of most Symphonic Metal.

    That said though, this is still some really great music and is absolutely worth the purchase.

    Posted on March 13, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Sharon den Adel is not with nor has been with Nightwish, rather she is lead singer of Within Temptation. Delain seems to be an outgrowth from Within Temptation’s former keyboard player, Martijn Westerholt. While this is a well laid out and executed cd with very good vocals from primarily Charolette Wessels; it is a step below Within Temptation in range, power, diversity and composition to me. That being said there is a lot to praise about the Symphonic Metal being produced over the last 20 years in the Netherlands. I am impressed by the amount of musician co-operation between bands in the Netherlands.

    I agree with the reviewer of “Lucidity” (a different Delain cd) that if you are tired of female, mezzo-soprano lead orchestra metal bands then Delain is a refreshing vocal change. Personally I would purchase Delain only after completing my Within Temptation and The Gathering (those with Anneke van Giersbergen).

    Posted on March 13, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now