On September 10th at Mavericks, symphonic metal bands Xandria and Delain arrived as part of their cross country tour with Sonata Arctica, It is with serious regret that I had to leave before Sonata went on stage, but I was lucky enough to catch Xandria and Delain’s sets.
(L-R, Philip Restermeier, Dianne van Giersbergen and Marco Heubaum at Mavericks, Ottawa, ON, photo credits to Matt C.)
Symphonic metal is a touchy genre for metal elitists because it is fronted by a female singer, usually. It may vary with two singers like Sovereign Council where I must admit, it suits the metal much better – but with the exception of Xandria and Delain, having one solid vocalist is best.
Xandria hit the stage around 7:30 and played a pretty long set, ending around 8:05 with their 2012’s Neverworld’s End lead single, “Valentine”. Lead vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen has such an impressive range, the highs could break glass. With symphonic metal, having the vocal abilities are pretty much what set you apart from any other genre. And keyboards. So many keyboards.
(L-R, Timo Somers, Ruben Israel, Charlotte Wessels and Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije at Mavericks, Ottawa, ON, photo credits to Matt C.)
Next up was Dutch symphonic metal, Delain. I came across this band just recently, back in 2013, when looking into genres and finding the “key players”. Lead songwriter, Martijn Westerholt had quite an impressive set up with his keyboards – and didn’t screw around with rocking out.
Delain thrashed through some crowd pleasers and some of my favourite tracks such as “Get The Devil Out Of Me”, “Stardust” and “We Are The Others”. One track that really impressed me was a track from their debut album, Lucidity, with “The Gathering”. A duet, almost, which really got the crowd throwing the horns up. Guitarist Timo Somers does some the most killer pinch harmonics I have heard from a metal guitarist, and absolutely had a blast with the Ottawa crowd.
(L-R, Timo Somers, Ruben Israel and Charlotte Wessels, photo credits to Matt C.)
The group ended with their track, ‘We Are The Others”, with vocalist Charlotte Wessels putting all of her vocal ability and encouraging the crowd to do the same. She got the crowd really into the groove by seeing just how loud they could be, telling them “Don’t give up on me now!”
I was really hoping they were going to play “Your Body Is A Battleground” from 2014’s The Human Contradiction but I was really pleased by the set list.
Even though Sonata Arctica attracted the majority of the crowd, I have no doubt some new Xandria and Delain fans were walking out those doors.
A special shout out to Christina Kasper & Black Widow Promotions for booking this killer show and having some the best metal shows in Ottawa. Check them out on Facebook and get tickets to all upcoming shows featuring bands such as Overkill, Prong, Darkest Hour, Carnifex & many, many more!