DELAIN has by now become an almost household name when discussing Gothic Metal, and for good reason. This album gave the band a big breakthrough on the scene, and their follow-up “April Rain” only solidified their success. DELAIN reminds me a lot of a better WITHIN TEMPTATION (“Silent Force”), but with a few more metal elements.
Heavily symphonic, “Lucidity” was an instant classic with a lot of fans. It's easy to see why, as most of the elements that make this a good album for myself are also shared by many others. First up are the vocals of Charlotte Wessels, which are NOT operatic, but rather more natural sounding. There's a sense of ease and beauty in her voice (also similar to “Silent Force” -era WITHIN TEMPTATION) that sways listeners very easily. This isn't a band puffed up with pomp and virtuosity, but one that goes for the heart with potent and emotional songs. Marco Heitala's presence here is most likely to add the cliche'd “beauty and the beast” sort of balance that many Gothic Metal bands seem to need. Frankly, I've never been a great fan of Marco's vocals until “Dark Passion Play," so truth be told this particular part of the music doesn't do anything for me.
There's a few occurances of Death vocals here, but by and large this is a beautiful, touching, and emotional album. Not very interesting instrumentally, and fairly poppy, but you're already in the wrong genre if you're looking to avoid those elements anyways. I for one found the guitar lines to be extremely tame and boring, though they are reasonably heavy at times, and enough to add some atmosphere. The keyboards also spoil the listener with many lush chords and supportive notes, and are probably the second greatest musical feature of the band.
Lyrically, “Lucidity” is a pool of unoriginality, and not in an unpleasant way. There's some abstract themes and metaphors in the album that will attract Gothic Metal followers, while the beautiful and often eerie melodies appeal to a wide spread of music lovers, from Melodic and Power Metal fans (like myself) to fans of Modern Rock and Metalcore. While I wouldn't call it the epitome of Gothic Metal, DELAIN is one of the better acts that I've heard, and one of few Gothic Metal bands that remain in my playlist. Personally, I am not attracted overly to this album, but it is a great accomplishment for the genre and the band's musicians. Very good work indeed!
(Online November 9, 2010)