Charlotte Wessels – Tales From Six Feet Under: Album Review

Charlotte Wessels steps out on her own after 15 years in Delain. Tales From Six Feet Under documents her output as she released a song a month over 2020/21.

Released: 17th September 2021

Label: Napalm Records

Format: Digital / Vinyl

For the uninitiated, Charlotte Wessels has spent her career fronting symphonic metal act, Delain. Wessels left the band recently and decided to pursue her own journey. She has used the platform of Patreon to release a song a month over the course of the pandemic. Tales From Six Feet Under is a compilation of these songs which shows the wealth of talent Charlotte Wessels possesses.

Superhuman opens the set. ‘This is a battle for your freedom,’ sings Charlotte; an apt feeling for an artist that is free from the shackles of band life. The song is underpinned by an affecting drum pattern and adds flourishes by the way of strings, synths and piano. Charlotte’s glorious voice is brilliantly layered to create harmonies and shows off her vocal range well.

If you were expecting a glut of symphonic metal songs here, then you will be disappointed. As previously mentioned, Charlotte Wessels has the freedom to fly free. Afkicken is sung entirely in Dutch and translates loosely to kicking a habit. Simply put, it is one of the best songs here, and really showcases her depth of talent. The song snakes around a disco like melody akin to Supernature era Goldfrapp; it also evokes a little of modern day Muse. More pop sensibility is employed on Masterpiece with a thumping beat and some studio vocal wizardy . ‘I’m a work in progress,’ exclaims Charlotte. That may be true, but the hard work already put in shows wild progress.

Victor is a darker affair with pulsing synths and brooding strings driving the song. Wessels vocal is sinister and dark; it is hugely evocative. New Mythology flips the other way as it feels a lot brighter and is a catchy song. It also shows the other side to Charlotte Wessels brilliantly versatile voice. Source Of The Flame continues to shine a light on a brighter sound before turning into a heavier affair with pounding drums and aggressive guitars take over the show.

delain manchester ritz 070220 by mike ainscoe 5
Charlotte Wessels onstage in Manchester; February 2020.
Picture: Mike Ainscoe

Cry Little Sister is a cover of the theme from the film The Lost Boys. It is faithful in its interpretation but is given a darker edge from its 1987 original. Lizzie sees a collaboration with Arch Enemy singer, Alyssa White-Gluz. The pair collaborated through friendship and decided that they should record something together whilst they had the opportunity. Their combined voices soar and trade off vocal lines throughout showing off their undisputed and unique abilities.

Angst is ramped up on the aggressive FSU. Opening with an operatic vocal line and an Eastern tinged musical intro, the song moves into familiar symphonic metal territory. Fast paced guitars and vociferous drumming propel the song as Wessels goes for the jugular with her cathartic vocals. The set is completed by the hypnotic and enchanting Soft Revolution. Chiming synths and soft strings build slowly as Wessels earthier tone is used on vocal duties until the chorus allows her to really fly in the vocals again. It really is a joyous sound hearing her sing her heart out.

Tales From Six Feet Under is a living document of a part of a persons life. Songs put together during a trying time for so many. The fruits of Charlotte Wessels labour are brilliant – this is an artist redefining herself in any way she wants. She had the chance to do what she wanted as she set out on her own journey; she has seized this opportunity with both hands. It is exciting to think what will come next from Charlotte Wessels.

Read our interview with Charlotte Wessels, here. Be sure to check out Charlotte’s Patreon (here) if you like what you hear; it’s vital to support independent artists if you can.

Check out the haunting video for Superhuman from Charlotte Wessels below.

Charlotte Wessels: Website / Patreon / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tik Tok / YouTube

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