Delain
Apocalypse & Chill


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (296 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2020 | 8 replies


Release Date: 02/07/2020 | Tracklist


With an album title that is basically a play on the well-known millennial term “Netflix & Chill” and an album cover featuring a nonchalant woman sunbathing amidst an apocalyptic backdrop, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Delain aren't exactly taking themselves seriously with their latest release. Yet the moment Apocalypse & Chill begins with menacing opener “One Second”, it's clear that Delain have focused on a concept about the world's impending doom. Sure, Delain aren't the first band to have picked up on this and they certainly won't be the last, but compared to previous albums the band seem to be taking a swift turn for the morose here.

The songwriting in Apocalypse & Chill, despite numerous forays into heavier, goth metal styles and a shared vocal performance with guitarist Timo Somers, is actually very fluent for the most part and all aspects of Delain's repertoire tie in together beautifully. Whether it's the harder-hitting thrum of “One Second” and “Let's Dance” or the violent, atmospheric surge of “Chemical Redemption” and “Burning Bridges”, every member of Delain is playing as part of a collective rather than for their own individual merits. Wessels' voice soars amidst an almost industrial metal stomp during most of “To Live is to Die”, and the grinding guitar work on closing instrumental “Combustion” is quite an exciting finish, thankfully overshadowing the lackluster “The Greatest Escape”. Elsewhere, synthesisers and keyboards are unsurprisingly in spades, “We had Everything” demonstrating a sound closer to Amaranthe than to Epica at their heaviest and “Creatures” providing a more electronic, synthetic performance which strangely doesn't detract from Delain's general charm.

It's clear with Apocalypse & Chill that Delain have embraced outside influences but in very subtle ways. Whilst songs such as “Chemical Redemption” and “Burning Bridges” are arguably the heaviest of the album, they also indulge in a hefty amount of melodrama which is stunningly backed by a monstrous industrial metal style, ramping up the meat of the chorus sections and bringing a whole new energy to the band's instrumental presence. Elsewhere, “Ghost House Heart” simmers down the tension of its predecessors in favour of a more keyboard-led performance, and one that certainly evolves into operatic tendencies towards the end. Sure, it doesn't exactly stand out as a contender for the album's centrepiece, but what it does do is show the band still have variety in them and aren't afraid to demonstrate all sides of their musical repertoire. Similarly, “Masters of Destiny” is more lenient in its intensity but does show a return to the album's first few tracks where that symphonic/Gothic metal presence shined everywhere, yet somehow the latter stages of the album doesn't represent the same bite that earlier songs had. Wessels' vocal performance begins to dwindle and it's at this point that you understand Delain have run out of creative energy.

Apocalypse & Chill is more or less Delain at their best, and really the band are proving they can go above and beyond what is expected of them in light of the last few albums. Sure, the subtle variations in pace and style on the album aren't exactly shoved to the forefront, but they do provide an extra underlying bite to most songs making everything somewhat bigger and more urgent. What's more important here is that as a band, Delain seem to be inspired as a collective and that's perhaps why the general performance feels tight and doesn't ever seem like it's going to fall apart. Where the band go conceptually from here is unknown, but for now Apocalypse & Chill will satisfy the fanbase and welcome a few naysayers who are willing to give Delain another chance.




Recent reviews by this author
The Moon and the Nightspirit AetherGreen Carnation Leaves Of Yesteryear
Cloven Hoof Age of SteelThe Black Dahlia Murder Verminous
Mariana Semkina SleepwalkingMagnum The Serpent Rings
user ratings (27)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2020


2634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

c/c welcome as always. Not the best review I've done exactly and it's pretty rough writing considering I haven't reviewed for over a month.

Digging: VoidCeremony - Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional...

KjSwantko
March 2nd 2020


12009 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I remember really digging "Combustion" a lot. Nice review. m/

Willie
Moderator
March 2nd 2020


18808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

These guys are almost totally unremarkable, but I enjoy them anyways. It did seem like the quality level improved on this compared to the last few. Nice review, tried to click the little 'yes' button, but it doesn't exist for you obviously.

Digging: Make Them Suffer - How to Survive a Funeral

KjSwantko
March 2nd 2020


12009 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's the perfect word for them actually- "unremarkable." Instrumentally I like them a lot more without the female vocals, too.

heck
March 3rd 2020


4638 Comments


worst album title/cover on a semi-major release of the year so far

KjSwantko
March 3rd 2020


12009 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I really don't get it. A small part of me can appreciate the fun attitude, though.

Beardog
April 6th 2020


3546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Thought the mixing was really bland at first but it honestly doesn't matter that much, this sounds better than their other records but I wish the mastering was a little less mid heavy. Musically this is really good, but a little too long. Nice varied record though

Beardog
April 17th 2020


3546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Holy fuck, Combustion is a T H I C C track btw, you really wouldn't say that it's a Delain song haha



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy