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Delain - We are the Others
CD Reviews
Written by Max Levites   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012
Delain - CD Review
We are the Others
Delain - We are the Others

CD Info
Roadrunner Records / Sensory
12  Tracks
English Lyrics


I’m going to start off this review by saying that I generally hate empowerment songs, or empowerment anything, really. I have no qualms with people who enjoy them or who get something out of them, but they really don’t do anything for me. The only exception I’ve found is Ke$ha’s "We R Who We R," and that’s only because I inexplicably love Ke$ha and everything she does. *cue horrified gasps of metal fans*

So, when I heard that the title track of Delain’s new album would be a sort of "outsider’s anthem," I’ll admit I had some reservations. Was this going to be another cheesy song about tolerance and understanding? I kept my misgivings to myself, though, because We Are The Others is probably one of the most anticipated female-fronted metal releases of the year. Though originally slated for release earlier this spring, a bureaucratic breakdown between Roadrunner and WMG (Warner Music Group) delayed the album until now, which caused a bit of a frenzy among the fans. Of course, this just made everyone want to hear the album even more. That, and the often low-quality live videos of the new songs on YouTube showed immense promise. Despite my little rant above, I was actually very excited about hearing the new Delain album and had rather high expectations. Not only was I not disappointed, but my expectations were exceeded by miles.

"Mother Machine" kicks the album off with a short industrial intro which dives right into heavy riffs and pounding drums. New guitarist Timo Somers comes in with some excellent guitar work, followed by the velvety vocals of Charlotte Wessels and Martijn Westerholt’s keyboards. The strong songwriting is evident from the first notes of the chorus, and this is the first of many catchy melodies that’ll get stuck in your head for weeks. At the same time, this is also some of the heaviest material we’ve seen from the band to date. This is what we encounter on the rest of the album: a simultaneously heavier and more melodic Delain that shows a maturation in their overall songwriting abilities. The anthemic "Electricity" continues to show just that.

Contrary to my expectations, the album’s title track "We Are The Others" isn’t as irritating as I thought it might be. It’s actually quite a good song, and the lyrics aren’t preachy or pretentious like most empowerment anthems. The song is inspired by the tragic death of Sophie Lancaster, who was beaten to death for looking "goth," and the song’s opening lines, "I’m walking with Sophie tonight / she lives in the air that I breath / I can’t get it out of my mind / how you were left to bleed," show that this song is more reflective than preachy. Musically, it’s catchy and melodic, and overall, it’s an enjoyable track.

We Are The Others offers a lot more variety than its predecessor, April Rain, on which many of the songs, though good, sounded a little too similar. Delain, while still sticking to the same formula, play around with their songs a little more on this album. The result of this are songs like the industrial-tinged balad-esque "Milk and Honey," the sweetly maniacal "I Want You," the 80’s-inspired "Are You Done With Me" and the epic "Babylon." The other songs, though not particularly experimental, are equally as enjoyable. I guarantee you’ll be humming "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Get the Devil Out of Me" for days after hearing this album, while "Mother Machine," and "Where is the Blood" featuring Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory will have you banging your head and rocking out. Admittedly, I wasn’t a big fan of the latter at first, but it grew on me the more I listened to it.

The only song I’m not particularly impressed with is "Generation Me," a song critiquing our generation’s obsession with social media. I’m not a big fan of social critique either, unless it’s done very well, and musically it’s also one of the weakest tracks on this album. It’s not a bad song in general, but it doesn’t at all live up to the other songs on this record.

We Are The Others is a strong album with strong songs, and shows a nice maturation in Delain’s sound and ability. Charlotte sounds better than ever, her gorgeous voice exploring new territories and carrying the songs to new heights. The production here is also better than ever, thanks to the Tripod Production team and Jacob Hellner, who has worked previously with big names like Rammstein and Apocalyptica. This album is sure to please old Delain fans and will no doubt win over legions of new ones. With April Rain, Delain conquered Europe and the UK. Perhaps We Are The Others will bring them here across the pond for more than one show this time!

Standout tracks: "Mother Machine" "Electricity" "I Want You" "Babylon" "Are You Done With Me" and "Get the Devil Out of Me."

9 / 10

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