Dutch Symphonic metal band Delain mark their grand return with their seventh album Dark Waters. On this occasion, Delain come with a new lineup which truly brings the unspoken curiosity to the mind: How are they going to sound this time? Is it going to be a worthy record? With that query in my mind, I stepped into the realm of symphonic metal.
Dark Waters starts off with “Hideaway Paradise,” a track that grew into an instant favorite as I listened to it for the very first time. The beautiful intro leads to a mesmerizing chorus that kept me listening to the song eagerly for the chorus to come back again. Moving forward, I found magnificent choruses throughout the next two songs, “The Quest and the Curse,” another incredibly melodious track, and “Beneath,” which shows the same essence of brilliance through beautiful vocal harmonies. The carefully crafted melodious guitar work brought divine perfection to each of the songs. The sound takes a darker direction with “Mirror of Night;” however, the melody retains as singer Diana Leah keeps her enticing voice going on, harmonizing elegantly throughout the song. With the next two songs, “Tainted Hearts” and “The Cold,” I felt that the energy was there, but somehow I felt something was missing in these tracks. Perhaps the band were focusing on experiment rather than melody at this point.
Watch the official video of “Beneath” on YouTube:
Moving ahead, I found the record is filled up with a string of impressive tracks. Powerful riffs and catchy vocal melodies incorporate “Moth to a Flame” into a unique aural experience. The magnificent guitar melody worship in “Queen of Shadow” and the outstanding vocal lines in “Invictus” leave no doubt about how passionate as well as experimental the band are about their sound. Lastly, with “Underland,” Delain bring symphonic metal to its peak, with excellent guitar mastery and orchestration amalgamated to the tip of perfection. By the end of the album, I came across the piano version of “The Quest and the Curse.” “The Quest and the Curse” is itself an outstanding piece of work, and the piano version only makes it even more enchanting with Diana Leah’s endless soothing melody.
Singer Diana Leah makes her debut in the band with Dark Waters, and there is no doubt about her capabilities in singing. There is energy in the way she delivers her voice, and keeps control of each song on the album. The entire band sound very compact, and they are very much certain about where they want to reach with their sound. I would say Delain have reached the brink of victory with Dark Waters. As founder Westerholt has stated, the band are truly alive; I know because some of their tunes still remain in my head after finishing the record.
Get the album here.
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Photo courtesy of Andrea Falaschi