Label: Napalm Records
Release date: 07.02.2020
Dutch symphonic metallers are back with their 6th album aptly named for our times; “Apocalypse & Chill”. Talk about capturing the zeitgeist!
And they are doing that with 13 bombastic tracks. We are nowadays going through some strange times indeed (though it’s been a long time coming), but Delain has always been a powerhouse band who addressed what was going on in the world, starting way back from their “We Are The Others” era (eponymous track being about the murdering of Sophie Lancaster because of her looks), and to their “The Human Contradiction” (lyrically sophisticated metal with depth about the modern dilemma of the human kind) album which is probably my most favorite record of theirs. So this album might have come before the Corona virus outbreak but listening to it during our quarantine days makes us ponder about our reality even more, of course with taste and overall amazing tunes achieved with “Apocalypse & Chill”.
Soundwise, it’s the Delain we know but surely without being repetitive of their previous works. As for the novelties on this album, the band used a live choir for the choir parts all over the album for the first time in their recordings. Also there is an instrumental track called Combustion which is 5:25 minutes long, it definitely closes the album with a bang.
The opener track One Second is also the first official single released from “Apocalypse & Chill”. It’s uptempo and uplifting and also the band guitarist Timo sings with Charlotte for the first time so it’s a duet of two band members which is akin to the style of Lacuna Coil and Amaranthe. Delain is no stranger to duets made by guest vocalists (previous duets with Marco Hietala and Alissa White-Gluz came to mind right off the bat) and this time they hosted Yannis Papadopoulos of Beast In Black on the track Vengeance which is a catchy and melodic love song with a vengeance 🙂
My favorites of this album ended up being Chemical Redemption, Djent-y Creatures which also partly salutes Queen’s The Show Must Go On and the multi-layered, second official single Burning Bridges. On the latter track, Charlotte Wessels introduces us listeners to her first-time ever growling vocals. These songs are all catchy as hell and the production value is top-notch, Consequently, the whole album has a very polished sound which does not disturb the listeners because you apparently have to have a polished sound when you mix these electronic sounds, synths (which are more prevalent in the first half of the album) with metal guitars, bass and drums.
“Apocalypse & Chill” has both these elements of overly sentimental human emotions as can be heard on the ballad Ghost House Heart and also formulaic and rather robotic instants that can be heard especially on the verses of Let’s Dance (lyrically relevant more than ever) and To Live is To Die. I’m pretty convinced and impressed that sound and theme-wise this humanism vs. robotics dichotomy is absolutely intended to be there.
Overall, this is a very successful album from the hands of very experienced musicians and artists that is Delain, which can be appreciated both by critics and their fans.
- Martijn Westerholt – Keyboards
- Charlotte Wessels – Vocals
- Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije – Bass
- Timo Somers – Guitars
- Joey de Boer – Drums
- “One Second”
- “We Had Everything”
- “Chemical Redemption”
- “Burning Bridges”
- “To Live Is to Die”
- “Let’s Dance”
- “Ghost House Heart”
- “Masters of Destiny”
- “Legions of the Lost”
- “The Greatest Escape”