Delain – Dark Waters

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Year: 2023
Total Time: 1.38.00
Label: Napalm Records

One of the most anticipated albums of the year so far was definitely the new DELAIN album, called “Dark Waters”, at least for fans of Symphonic Metal. The reason is the fact that DELAIN changed their whole line up with the exception of Martjin Westerholt, the founder of the band. The new members are Sander Zoer (drums), Ronald Landa (guitars, backing vocals), Ludovico Cioffi (bass, backing vocals) and Diana Leah (vocals). The fact that Zoer and Landa returned to the band after their first participation in the mid ‘00s gave us a hint of what to expect from them.

Westerholt decided to return to its roots and rely on a safe sound for the band. This decision has its pros and cons. For example, I liked the fact that they maintained their symphonic character with not many progressive elements like in their previous (and probably worst) album “Apocalypse & Chill”. It was obviously a strategic decision to play safe in order to please their target group and keep their fans happy especially after the departure of Charlotte Wessels who was the face of the band thanks to her talent and intense but sweet personality. Thankfully, Westerholt made an excellent choice for the frontwoman since Leah is very talented and reminds Wessels a lot.

On the other hand, Westerholt does not dare to include many new elements in his music and many of the songs even though they are good, do not stick to our minds. Of course there are some bright exceptions like the first two songs of the album “Hideaway Paradise” and “The Quest And The Curse” , or one of the most distinctive songs called “Moth To A Flame” and “Invictus” with the participation of Marco Hietala (ex-NIGHTWISH). Speaking of guests, Westerholt gathered a small all-star Symphonic Metal team since apart from Hietala, he joins forces with Paolo Ribaldini (SKILTRONN, SERAPHIEL), Rob Van Der Loo (EPICA) and Ruud Jolie (WITHIN TEMPTATION).

In conclusion, “Dark Waters” is a very good album keeping always in mind the fact that the band was reborn with a new line up and until recently nobody knew even if they would carry on at all. The title of the album may refer to dark and uncharted waters but in truth DELAIN created a safe but good album that would satisfy their disappointed fans and set the tone of the new era!

Rating: 7/10
Editor: Kostas Boudoukos
Related Link: DELAIN – Official Page

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