These gothic metal merchants from the Netherlands have been the impressive epitome of hard-working over the past few years. If releasing We Are the Others in 2012 was insufficient, they followed it up in 2013 with Interlude featuring new recordings, cover versions and alternate versions. Not resting on their laurels, they now unleash a spectacular new album which on the surface may be disappointing as it only contains nine tracks. The main thing to know is that they’ve chosen quantity over quality, so you can wipe your furrowed brow.
There is a wonderful vocal breakdown during the opening epic song Here Come the Vultures which only adds to what is a wonderful track. Looking at other highlights, you get Stardust which possesses the essence of the creative beating heart that is Delain, and might well be the first official single from the album. This specific song is purely inspired by a novel called ‘Dawn’ which is the first of three books that complete a trilogy written by female author Octavia E. Butler. The influence of this book and the trilogy as a whole doesn’t stop there either. It is responsible for the title of this new album and some of the themes that permeate through the lyrics of most songs contained within.
Tell Me, Mechanist is a song about animals and the human attitude toward the many different species. The lyrical approach to observing the human outlook to resources can be explored in the closing track on The Human Contradiction called The Tragedy of the Commons. In many respects this album differs to its predecessors on not only the musical arrangements which are more elaborate, but in the intelligent subject matter which takes what has been touched on before and pushes the envelope.
This year is delivering a lot of female-fronted symphonic/gothic metal style bands, all wishing to capture your ears with their brand of this music. The Human Contradiction is not just another fine example, but an impressive statement and continues their legacy as a consistently strong outfit.