On December 6, 2019, Delain stopped in Paris, at the Cabaret Sauvage, as part of the promotional tour for his album – the time yet to be released – “Apocalypse & Chill”. Three and a half years later, the Dutch band is back in the capital, this time to defend their new opus, “Dark Waters”, and a few hundred meters from the 2019 concert, this time at Trabendo (19th).
But that was not the only difference, far from it. Because, in the meantime, Delain, cantor of Dutch symphonic metal with Within Temptation or Epica, did not go overboard, renewing four-fifths of its staff!
Or at least, the boss of the group, the keyboardist Martijn Westerholt, victim according to his words of an attempted putsch, during the pandemic, of part of his musicians, has he regained full control of operations. Recalling to do this some of his former friends, such as Sander Zoer, who had been drummer in Delain from 2006 to 2014, or the guitarist Ronald Landa who had officiated from 2006 to 2009. And recruiting two new heads, bist Ludovico Cioffi, and singer Diana Leah, a Romanian living in Italy and spotted on the Net.
Xandria in the first part
Suffice to say that it is not won for Delain! But let’s make the suspense last a bit by evoking the first part, the Germans of Xandria, symphonic and powerful metal. Coincidentally, the group also presents a new singer, Ambre Vourvahis, a talented Franco-Greek who therefore speaks our local language perfectly and shows communicative enthusiasm throughout the show.
We need that to defend the compositions of the new opus, “The Wonders Still Awaiting”, which constitute the majority of the repertoire of this Tuesday evening: nice titles, but never transcendent, like the group, which is already his eighth studio album, but is still slow to break into the first division. The Trabendo, however, reserves a very warm welcome to Xandria.
And – end of the suspense – it is no less unleashed when Delain arrives on the boards, around 9 p.m. The (mostly) Batavians nevertheless turn out to be clever strategists. If they start their show with one of the most attractive songs of the album “Dark Waters”, namely “The Cold”, it is then to better caress the fans in the direction of the hair with some unstoppable titles from their past repertoire: “Suckerpunch”, “Invidia”, or “April Rain”, in which the most recent “Burning Bridges” or “The Quest And The Curse” are inserted.
The new singer Diana Leah captivates the public
If she is to succeed a singer, Charlotte Wessels, who was adored by the French and showed herself to be endowed with a strong personality, Diana Leah brilliantly took up the challenge, experiencing no difficulty in singing the vocal parts of her predecessor, and demonstrating her also a beautiful energy.
Result, after barely twenty minutes, Diana holds the public in her hand, the spectators giving a nice ovation to the group after “Underland” and before “The Hurricane”.
Surfing on the last album, a little less pop and a little more metal than the previous ones, Martijn Westerholt is like crazy behind his keyboards, and Ludovico Cioffi comes to let out some bear grunts in need of honey, in addition to the vocals. We sometimes jostle at the microphone, a guest, the Italian living in Finland Paolo Ribaldini, coming on a handful of songs (for example, “Beneath”, “Your Body Is A Battleground” or, as a reminder, “Control The Storm”) emulate the male vocals present on the studio versions.
The humorous note of the evening goes to guitarist Ronald Landa, who asks the spectators, halfway through the evening: “Who gets up early to go to work tomorrow? And who’s going to call in sick? ” Me ! he adds, laughing towards Westerholt. Later, the musician had the pleasure of seeing his two young children come on stage from the Netherlands (we didn’t dare say Deloin…) to say hello to him.
The concert ends with a very beautiful vocal demonstration by Diana Leah, during the final part of the stirring “Not Enough”. The encore can only be composed of clics, namely “Mother Machine”, the “Control The Storm” mentioned above, and the terminal “We Are The Others”. A title that could not be more suited to the situation: there are other musicians in Delain, but they perpetuate the flame with talent!