REVIEW: Charlotte Wessels – Tales from Six Feet Under

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It is always an interesting musical adventure to discover how an artist can express themselves outside of their main band. Up until February of this year, Charlotte Wessels was the lead vocalist of DELAIN, but she has also been producing music in her home studio, Six Feet Under, for her Patreon community since May 2020. The time has come to share some of these songs with everybody as “Tales from Six Feet Under” is scheduled for release on September 17th, 2021, through Napalm Records. Check out our interview with Charlotte here.

This album is very interesting and refreshing from various perspectives. First, it was not put together like any other record written in the space of a few months, but instead, it is a collection of best-of songs that were carefully selected from Charlotte Wessels’ Song of the Month releases on her Patreon. Secondly, this is not an album that could fall into a specific genre, but rather, it covers a large sonic spectrum, from melancholic pop and synth-rock to Goth and electronic music. Thirdly, it is meant to showcase her versatility as a musician, as most everything is recorded and/or programmed by Wessels herself. The one exception is the duet with Alissa White-Gluz for the track “Lizzie,” which was a joint effort. Lastly, this is a sincere and intimate record, as the ten songs are passionate and soulful, highlighting her incredible ability to create intense feelings using her voice. From the choruses of “Superhuman” and “Masterpiece” to the lyrics of “FSU (2020)” and “Soft Revolution,” it really packs a lot of emotional weight.

Musically, the album gets progressively heavier, starting on faint notes, soft percussion, and melodic vocals with “Superhuman,” continuing with Dutch rocker “Afkicken,” and the electro pop-ish “Masterpiece” and “Victor.” Just these first four nuanced tracks show the many ways in which Wessels can express herself when given free rein, which in turn makes this album feel organic, like a breath of fresh air. Tracks like “New Mythology” and “Source of the Flame” offer a glimpse into her compositional skills as programmed beats and layered vocals make the tracks feel bigger and more vibrant than the previous two. There’s a richness of sound on this record that makes it even more impressive, considering Wessels did almost everything by herself.

Source of the Flame” also has a neat increase in intensity that leads to a heavier rhythmic part, thus breaking the pattern of mellow music presented so far. It also works as a transitional piece, being followed by a revamping of Goth anthem “Cry Little Sister” (from the 1987 horror movie The Lost Boys) where Wessels makes full use of her range to give the song depth and texture. This is the perfect segue into the haunting “Lizzie,” where the vocals of Wessels and White-Gluz combine seamlessly to create textures and atmosphere. Continuing on the heavier side of things, “FSU (2020)” is a rock number that is a bit reminiscent of DELAIN in the way it is constructed, with heavy guitars, powerful drums, and some more layered vocals. Closing the album is power ballad “Soft Revolution,” which features one of Wessels best vocal performances on this album.

All-in-all, “Tales from Six Feet Under” is exactly what a solo album should be – a faithful representation of the artist, a means by which they can express their creativity, and showcase their emotions in every way they see fit, without any genre limitations or constraints. This record captures the spirit of Charlotte Wessels in many sonic nuances and moods, from delicate and fragile to powerful and vibrant. It is an intimate journey that we take together with Wessels as she presents her multifaceted world and bountiful artistry.

Written by Andrea Crow

Tracklist

1. Superhuman

2. Afkicken

3. Masterpiece

4. Victor

5. New Mythology

6. Source Of The Flame

7. Cry Little Sister

8. Lizzie – A Duet with Alissa White-Gluz

9. FSU (2020)

10. Soft Revolution

Lineup

Charlotte Wessels – lead vocals, programming

Label

Napalm Records

Links

Website   |   Facebook   |   Instagram