I’ll admit it right off the bat, symphonic metal is not usually my cup of tea.  I find it a bit boring for my tastes. When Delain‘s The Human Contradiction came across my desk, I decided to give it a spin anyway, and I was taken aback.  Charlotte Wessels haunting vocals, the groove-laden harmonies and the ultra superb production of the album grabbed me immediately.  Delain have taken the goth and mystery of symphonic metal and combined it with the best elements of power metal to make a blistering feast for the ears.

The opener, “Here Come the Vultures,” exhibits the beauty in Wessels vocals, but kicks into high gear afterwards.  The groove is driving and chugging, but the highlight are the vocals.  “Your Body is a Battleground” has more of an airy, symphonic feel to it, with a very catchy chorus.  “Stardust” is the most radio friendly tune here, but that doesn’t make it less appealing.  Yes, it’s catchy, but the driving rhythm and keyboards keep you headbanging.  “Tell Me, Mechanist,” which features Orphanage drummer George Oosthoek on vocals, is the epitome of this genre.  The contrast between the beauty of Wessels vocals and Oosthoek’s death metal growls is amazing!  My favorite song here is the finale.  “The Tragedy of the Commons” builds to an amazing crescendo.  Alissa White-Gluz, new Arch Enemy vocalist, and Wessels compliment each other perfectly.

Delain have delivered their best effort to date with The Human Contradiction.  I can highly recommend this album to metal fans with all kinds of different tastes.

The Human Contradiction is out now on Napalm Records.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars