I've wondered about this album for a while and finally got myself a copy. One of the few female fronted metal acts I'd not checked out yet (I'm a huge fan of the female voice in metal), I'd heard a great many good things about the album. I checked out the lead video on YouTube and it showed promise, and thus it seemed like a pretty safe bet. Boy was it a good purchase. This is one of the best examples of the genre around right now. It has the pop melodies of Lunatica, Within Temptation and After Forever (not really surprising as Within Temptation's former keyboardist was the founding member of Delain), and the uplifting rock elements of current-lineup Nightwish.
The songs are powerful, written with a keen ear for the Big Chorus, and polished to perfection, but not polished so much as to rob the songs of impact. It's epic sounding in many places, and the little flourishes of folk and pop elements really help the songs come to life.
The voice of Charlotte Wessels is wonderful; melodic and powerful without being over the top. Straddling the line somewhere between Annette Olzon and Sharon Den Adel, she has some serious star quality along with a mass of talent in her delivery.
'April Rain' is a brilliant opener, and shows perfectly why Delain have an advantage over bands such as the aforementioned Within Temptation and their ilk, and that advantage is that several of their songs are quite up-tempo and energetic. Some of the songs are approaching anthem status, with a massive chorus on offer at pretty much every turn.
The band prove themselves very able to pull off both the heavy tracks and lighter moments, with tracks like 'Control the Storm' (including the majestic guest vocal from Marco Hietala of Nightwish fame) and closing tune 'Nothing Left' being particularly memorable. As a whole, the album is hugely listenable and very enjoyable.