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LIVE REVIEW: Delain @ The Ritz, Manchester

DELAIN have spent their ten years as a band increasingly scale up the ranks in symphonic metal. Now, the band are at the summit, trading blows with the biggest names in their style. On the back of their fifth studio record, Moonbathers, the band are ready to further their stake to the throne through a massive headlining tour across Europe and the UK. But will the band be able to deliver a set that showcases the quality at their disposal?

[NOTE: Due to misinformation surrounding door opening and stage times our review team did not see the opening band KOBRA AND THE LOTUS]

EVERGRAY‘s progressive output served as main support to DELAIN and in good measure. The Swedish outfit have been active since 1995, and with a long and everlasting career the band were able to deliver a performance that reflected such. From the gorgeous inclusion of the keyboards from Rikard Zander to Tom S. Englund‘s soaring vocal deliveries, EVERGREY‘s overall sound was both moving and powerful. The dual guitar play from both Englund and Henrik Danhage was consistently tight whilst Johan Niemann‘s bass lines and Jonas Ekdahl‘s drumming kept the rhythm flowing throughout the band’s performance.

Moments of tranquillity and dazzling distortion washed over the audience. From the mightily slick riffing on Broken Wings to the captivating melodies on In Orbit, EVERGREY‘s ability to execute a variation of musical elements helped keep their performance fresh and exciting. Their career spans over two decades and it shows, as consistently throughout their performance in Manchester, the band delivered.

Rating: 8/10

Delain live @ The Ritz, Manchester. Photo Credit: Laura McCarthy
Delain live @ The Ritz, Manchester. Photo Credit: Laura McCarthy

For the past ten years, DELAIN have been building a solid reputation in symphonic metal and with a swelling crowd at The Ritz, the band delivered a performance that reflected a decade of hard work and determination. With the band’s latest record, Moonbathers, released a few months prior to the show, it was understandable that a large portion of the band’s set was comprised off the new record. Not that this hindered DELAIN‘s impact as it in fact only emphatically heightened their live sound. From the soaring orchestral components from Hands of Gold to the slick dual riffing from Timo Somers and Merel Bechtold on Fire With Fire, the intensity here was enormous.

The concern surrounding symphonic metal bands in the live environment is whether the vocal deliveries would be lost in the background to hard-hitting riffs and drumwork. DELAIN overcame this hurdle with absolute ease as Charlotte Wessels consistently delivered razor-sharp vocal deliveries throughout the entirety of their set. Her soaring deliveries were infectious, as she held the audience in the palm of her hand through effortlessly delivering; from the isolated vocal lines on April Rain to the ballad-esque The Hurricane, Wessels more then delivered. This was only heightened when DELAIN utilised the backing vocal talents from Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije and Timo Somers, with the chorus of Suckerpunch being a prime example.

With a lengthy set consisting of largely new material alongside a healthy variation of fan favourites, DELAIN were consistently solid throughout their set. The Dutch outfit have more than proved they are a heavy hitter in the world of symphonic metal and their performance in Manchester only further bolsters that claim.

Rating: 9/10

Check out our photo gallery of DELAIN performing in Manchester from photographer Laura McCarthy:

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