Review: Delain Returns Stronger Than Ever with New Vocalist on 'Dark Waters


In February 2021, Symphonic Metal fans were delighted by the return of two great bands, Xandria and Delain, from a long hiatus with line-up changes and high expectations for their new vocalists.

Delain, which had already experienced some member changes in the past, returned with only leader Martijn Westerholt remaining from the original line-up. With the departure of bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck, guitarist Timo Somers, vocalist Charlotte Wessels, and other members, the idea of Delain returning to being a collaborative project, as was the initial intention of the project, was imminent.

However, the idea of the collaborative project did not materialize, and the good news is that Delain came back even stronger! Westerholt shared some updates on the band's activities during the two-year hiatus, announcing the return of drummer Sander Zoer, guitarist Ronald Landa, and new bassist Ludovico Cioffi. The lead singer, Diana Leah, was the last to be announced. Like Xandria, Leah's vocal style was more pop-oriented, and her previous work focused on electronic music.

On their seventh studio album, "Dark Waters," Delain managed to pass the vocalist change test and continued in the direction that enshrined them without losing authenticity. The album is more consistent than its predecessor, "Apocalypse & Chill," thanks to the extremely competent instrumental work, and Leah proved to be a correct choice for the band.

The opening track, "Hideaway Paradise," shows how Diana Leah fits into the band, printing a vocal that was not far from Charlotte Wessels but that was not even close to being a copy. Her talents for EDM choruses are also highlighted on the tracks: "Moth The Flame" and "Underland."

Delain was never a band that tried to copy Nightwish, as so many bands of the style were accused. So classical lyrical singing was never the basis of the band. And the spirit of modern Symphonic Metal (easily fitting label, since "We Are The Others"), was maintained with a lot of quality. The single, "The Quest and The Curse," and the tracks: "Beneath," which features Paolo Ribaldini and "Mirror of Night," are on the same level as the best moments of "We Are The Others," "Human Contradiction," and "Moonbathers." There was also the return of the partnership with Marco Hietala, on the track "Invictus," which also features Paolo Ribaldini.

Overall, Delain's "Dark Waters" is a triumph, demonstrating their ability to maintain their signature sound while adding new dimensions to their music. The album proves that the band is not afraid to take risks, which will undoubtedly lead to exciting things in the future.

Delain – Dark Waters 

Release Date: 02/10/2023 

Label: Napalm Records 


Diana Leah (vocals) 

Martijn Westerholt (keyboard) 

Ronald Landa (guitar) 

Ludovico Cioffi (bass) 

Sander Zoer (drums)

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