Although originally envisioned by Martijn Westerholt as a musical project featuring a host of guest musicians, due to the high demand for live performances a real band was formed. This lead to the Roadrunner release of Delain's debut album 'Lucidity' in 2006. The group of musicians quickly transformed into a solid rocking force. Now Delain is nothing less than a real band. A versatile band with an impressive new album called April Rain.
The listener is immediately drawn in by sweet, waterdrop-like pianosounds. Then the rest of the band kicks in and the drops form a ferociously swirling river of sound, during which a heavy guitar riff mercilessly crushes. In little under a minute April Rain – the title track - has shown us a few of the many different faces of Delain. And at that point we haven't even heard singer Charlotte Wessels yet. "The album opening title track is one of the songs on the new album I'm most proud of", says Martijn Westerholt, keyboardist and Delain's main composer. "To me it's the ultimate example to show where Delain currently stands and how versatile we have become as a band."
Westerholt is right. The sound on April Rain is versatile indeed, with various musical influences. But the album is very coherent at the same time. The debut Lucidity was characterised by the many guest musicians. This time Delain is primarily Charlotte Wessels on vocals, Martijn Westerholt on keyboards, Ronald Landa on guitar, Rob van der Loo on bass and Sander Zoer on drums. "Between the five of us, there's everything we need as a band, so there was no use for a lot of musical guests. The grunts in Virtue And Vice, for instance, are provided by our guitarist Ronald Landa and he did a wonderful job", says Westerholt. "There is one exception though. Working with Marko Hielata of Nightwish on Lucidity felt so good, that we also invited him for April Rain. His vocals can be heard on two tracks." A little less audible are the contributions that came from cellist Maria Ahn of the Ahn Trio. "Our producer Oliver Phillips pointed us in her direction", says Charlotte Wessels. "Maria has done a fantastic job. Adding a real cello instead of strings from a computer adds a lot of value to our songs."
Aside from the aforementioned collaborations, April Rain is one-hundred-percent Delain. From the breathtaking opener, to the epic closing track 'Nothing Left'. And they'll leave you breathless. Westerholt: "The extensive touring and playing the past two years has really brought us together personally and musically. Delain is a band now, instead of a project. A tight force that works together. We complement each other and that strengthens our sound." Wessels feels that the whirlwind beginnings of Delain contributed to the strong relationship. "We had an intense and very short time to rehearse before our first gig. We were all in it together and we almost immediately forged a bond. Those early rehearsals where the platform for Delain as we now know it." Looking at the credits on the April Rain album, it's evident that Delain is no longer 'the band of Martijn Westerholt'. The other members and especially Charlotte Wessels have played a major part in the creation of April Rain. Wessels: "Work on Lucidity was fantastic, but it was a bit of a fill exercise as the majority of the songs were already there. On April Rain my involvement was much bigger. Therefore it really feels as 'my' album. Even more so than our debut."
While remaining responsible for the overall Delain sound, Westerholt has given the band members the freedom to contribute. "Now that the band can draw from multiple musical sources, Delain has become a more diverse sounding unit", says Westerholt. This also means that there is even room on April Rain for songs in which he almost had no hand in. Such as On The Other Side. "A very personal song that means a lot to me", according to author Charlotte Wessels. "This song qualifies as 'my little baby' on the album and reflects on a difficult period that I went through." Westerholt: "And therefore, it is featured on April Rain. I have an enormous amount of respect for Charlotte and I feel that when a song is so important for one of the band members it should be on a Delain album. Originally Delain was 'my' project, but now Charlotte and the other band members are just as much Delain as myself."
To promote April Rain, Delain will be embarking on a massive tour. It is quite difficult to imagine that only a few years ago Martijn Westerholt was forced to leave Within Temptation because Pfeiffer's disease made it impossible for him to tour. "It may sound like a cliché, but it's the music that really gives me a massive amount of energy. Mind you, touring still is quite challenging for me, but at the same time I really get a health kick out of it. So over the coming months I'd love to play as many places as possible, especially those where Delain has not played before." All the while the band is already working on album number three. Westerholt: "The moment we were done with this one, we all started talking about the next. We have only just started as a band and at this point in our career there is a constant flow of ideas that we want to explore. We don't want that source to dry up, so the writing continues. If it were up to me, Delain will be broadening all musical boundaries and we're curious to see how far this band can take us. An exciting challenge, which will be great fun!"
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Charlotte Wessels - Vocals
Ronald Landa - Guitars, Vocals
Martijn Westerholt - Keyboards
Rob van der Loo - Bass
Sander Zoer - Drums
2006 - Lucidity
2009 - April Rain
2006 - Lucidity
ifolder part 1
ifolder part 2
2009 - April Rain