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Charlotte Wessels – ‘Tales From Six Feet Under II’

Napalm Records
Delain, Leaves’ Eyes, Stream of Consciousness, Edenbridge, Phantasma
Release Date
Napalm Records
Symphonic Rock

For 16 years, Charlotte Wessels was the voice of Delain, Symphonic Metal with (let’s be honest) more than a few pop elements. ‘Tales…’ certainly employs these attributes, but ventures out in many other directions. Goth/Symphonic/Pop/Industrial/Electronica with a few Celtic overtones (not all in the same song, mind you) are offered up on a sparkling platter. Gone are the confines of Delain and any other expectations. Wessels is free to do whatever she pleases…and boy, does she. To my ears, I hear Massive Attack meets Leaves’ Eyes meets Shawn Colvin. I’ll give you a moment to Google that one. After all, it’s her name, her album, her vision. Wessels, like all of us, has many sides, and with this album, she manages to represent them all…until the next album reveals more.

For long-time fans, “A Million Lives” is probably the closest she comes to sounding like Delain. The rest of the album explores everything from dark Electronica (“Toxic”) to fairly standard Symphonic Rock (“Human To Ruin”). There are many gorgeous moments where Wessels truly soars. This is especially true on “Against All Odds.”  A magical mix of wistful acoustic guitars and angels-on-high vocals, “Odds’” bared soul authenticity absolutely floored me. Maybe it was a particularly bad day at work creeping in, but Wessels’ delivery hit me as nothing has in a long long time. Beautifully simple. Utterly devastating.

 Some may see ‘Tales…’ as an uneven and meandering smattering of ideas. While I can appreciate that view, I prefer to see it as an eclectic expression of intelligence and an open invitation to her world. I look forward to enjoying her evolution.

"an eclectic expression of intelligence and an open invitation to her world"

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