"The Human Contradiction"

By Professor Jocko

Fantasy rock…is there even such a thing? If there wasn’t before, there is now. I have to admit, that upon listening to the first track, I thought it was a soundtrack to a Disney movie! "Here Come the Vultures” is the intro track and can be misleading at first, but after the band brings the song to a climax, you realize that this is something truly different in an extraordinary way. Bringing it all together, "The Human Contradiction is a record that starts out weak, but gets stronger and stronger by the end; reaching its emotional peak conveniently on the last track, "The Tragedy of the Commons", which features Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy.

Although Delain is coined as symphonic metal, they do have some very poignant moments both in song structures with the music and lyrics as well. "The Human Contradiction" is the fourth studio album which also features further guest appearances from Marco Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot) and George Oosthoek (ex-Orphanage). According to lead singer Charlotte Wessels, the album's title was inspired by Octavia E. Butler's science fiction trilogy Lilith's Brood. Whatever influences that fuel these songs may be irrelevant to some, but the classical & experimental ideas that stem from Goth-metal, perhaps, bring forth a diverse sound, as seen with tracks such as "Tell Me, Mechanist" and "Sing to Me". In my opinion, this is mainly because of the guest vocal appearances, which propel the songs to something more diverse and interesting overall.

Don’t get me wrong, though, as Wessels has a phenomenal voice, and although the vocal range tends to steer towards the lower end, she does have some great contrasts that seem to reinforce the classic operatic style as seen with more bands of this particular genre which brings more of a mainstream accessibility to their music. Although this does seem to create a redundancy in some respects, they are still taking some minor cues from extreme metal sub-genres while retaining the dominant classical influences. The use of keyboards & synthesizers help to stabilize these typical elements, but really work as a leading role with the heavier rhythm section to back it all up.