Delain have always been something of a second rate Nightwish in my book and although I enjoy them (and singer Charlotte Wessels has a spectacular voice) they have never really stamped a trademark sound over an entire album with any real authority. Their second album “April Rain” did show signs of steady progress towards their own niche and had some great tracks, but the last album felt like a step back and was more of the same Nightwish/Within Temptation style stuff.
And so to current release, “Interlude”, a stop gap of sorts between ‘proper’ albums seemingly favoured more and more by euro bands these days, albeit Gamma Ray‘s recent similar outing was a sterling piece of work. With new tracks, covers and live tracks what we really have is a decent EP with some concert material tacked on.
New numbers ‘Breathe On Me’ and ‘Collars And Suits’ are a little pedestrian but reasonably catchy, then we get some fairly pointless remix/reworkings including a poppy version of ‘Are You Done With Me’ and a piano laden ‘ballad’ interpretation of ‘We Are The Others’.
There is an interesting selection of covers on offer but they haven’t done anything substantial or interesting with them and so they render decent songs into keyboard rock versions with no real flare. As I listened to “Smalltown Boy” I had an experience I never expected – I sat there thinking “the Bronski Beat version of this was much better”.
The live tracks do pull it round somewhat – a full, rich production and a powerful performance from the band including gig favourites “Get The Devil Out Of Me” and “Electricity” make this worth your pennies if you’re a keen Delain fan, but will not convert you if you aren’t already familiar with their music I suspect.
It gives me no pleasure to be negative about this album because Delain are a supremely talented bunch with enormous potential – here’s hoping it is fully realised on their next album. Until then – this is for diehards only.