Delain – Illumishade – live 2024

Delain – Dark Waters over Europe – Act II-Tour

Colos-Saal Aschaffenburg, Feb. 1st 2024

It has been quite a while since I last enjoyed Dutch Delain. I simply needed time to come over the loss of Merel and Charlotte. It finally led to a completely new line-up of the band with founder and keyboarder Martijn Westerholt remaining the only surviving original member.

Perfect Match

Support band of this tour is no other than Swiss shooting stars Illumishade around vocalist Fabienne Erni and guitarist Jonas Wolf of Eluveitie. And to be honest with you, Illumishade were the initial spark for me to watch Delain at Colos-Saal in Aschaffenburg. Of course, Illumishade are not only Fabi(enne) and Jonas. The band is completed by blue-haired Mirjam Skal on Synths and responsible for orchestration, Yannick Urbanczik on bass and Marc Friedrich on drums.


Doors open one hour before the show, which gives the audience sufficient time to have a look at the merch, meet old and new faces, have a sip on a drink and fill the venue to its limit. Then it is about time for the concert to begin. Starting with Marc, one after the other enters the stage during the intro until finally Fabienne joins the four of them for tonight’s show of Illumishade’s first full tour.

Progressive and rough

Illumishade open with “Elegy” which also is the opener of the forthcoming album “Another Side Of You”. It will be released on February 16th and of course we will review it right in time. The audience and the band are no enemies for sure, nevertheless, “Enemy” follows as it will on the album. I am surprised, how fantastic these new songs sound, more progressive, much rougher than what we know from the debut album.

New and old in a row

So “Here We Are” and celebrate the next new song before we finally hear the first song of “Eclyptic”, which comes along in a perfect “Crystal Silence”. With “Cloudreader” follows the last of the new songs and we continue with the next four songs in a row from the debut album.

A different beast

Let’s “Rise” together with the “Muse of Unknown Forces” to listen to some “Tales of Time”. Listen closely and you realize, even those “known” songs sound much rougher, more metal and progressive than the studio versions. Well, live music is a different beast than studio songs, isn’t it like that? What do you prefer, songs performed on stage exactly as the studio version, or a different live version? I go for the second option, always!

THE special effect

Ah, and before Illumishade’s set ends with “World’s End”, let me tell you, they had prepared a special effect, only one special effect. It is performed by Fabienne, take a look at the pics again and find it out; it is not too difficult. It was a brilliant show, near to perfect sound, real live music of excellent musicians on instruments and vocals, no backtracks or lip-sync, nothing. All was real but different from the original version.

Visiting Jessika and Robin

During the break for the change of the stage set-up, Mirjam and Fabienne meet with their fans at the merch in the opposite room. Everybody can have a chat, a pic, autographs or buy some merch, they sign. The merch is in the very kind and lovely hands of Jessika for Illumishade and Robin (not Scherbatsky) for Delain. They have a screen in the room otherwise they would miss the whole show.


Slowly it is time, time to get out of “The Cold”, one of the songs from “Dark Waters, Delain’s recent release. It works very well as an opener, because it allows them to build up tension until Diana Leah raises her voice for the next 95 minutes. Just like her, bassist Ludovico Cioffi joined Delain in 2022. Drummer Sander Zoer and guitarist Ronald Landa rejoined in 2021. Yes, they had been with Delain for some years from 2006 on and then came back.

Old and new in alternation

It is no wonder, they are familiar with “Suckerpunch”, one of the standards of each Delain show. We cross dark waters over “Burning Bridges” because there is “The Quest and the Curse” of Dark Waters waiting for us. It gives us hints for the weather conditions outside, true or not because it is just February. “April Rain” pours down heavily on us and I urgently need to “Get the Devil Out of Me”, otherwise I would end up in a “Sleepwalkers Dream”. Be assured, it won’t be a nightmare but sweet dreams, but you know, they are made of fears, so you never know.

Customised song

Let’s talk about envy and what’s the right song for it? Sure, “Invidia”! Get it straight, envy is far away tonight so it is more of a “what-if” than a truth for Delain. While we are talking, let’s talk about a title for Diana. What about “Queen of Shadow”? I think it fits, because she has dark hair which frames her face like a shadow. Seems, this song of Dark Waters was written exactly for her and no one else.

A row of standards

Delain return to older songs. We have to accept that “Your Body Is a Battleground” and after our final defeat or victory, it is up to you to decide, depending on your mood. Soon we are ready for “The Gathering”, one of the songs which brought Delain to wuthering heights of melodic metal. But, defeat or victory, Delain simply “Don’t Let Go”! They can’t, they won’t, they don’t!

Exchanging four and six stings

Sometime during the show, Ludovico and Ronald have an argument over their instruments. Can a bass player also play guitar? Of course every guitar player thinks, he can play bass… It all ends up with them swapping instruments for one song. It turns out, one is not easier than the other, just different. It was a nice intermezzo to give Sander, Martijn and Diana some time or maybe a little refreshment off stage. Especially for vocalists it is important to have breaks during the show, otherwise sooner or later they could damage their voice. “Moth to a Flame”, as one of the newer songs, makes clear that the show so far is “Not Enough” and a few more songs follow. One of them is “Mother Machine”. Mother, father, sister, brother, all our families can’t compete with this song which regularly would finish the set.

No break but encores

Delain would now leave the stage and the audience would shout for encores. This time it is different, Ronald explains that it is just more work, off stage, shout, return, off stage, shout, return and it is simply time consuming so they stay on stage and play the encores in a row. It is better to lose your voices singing along with the band than shouting for the band. So we get to hear that we have to “Control the Storm” which might come up during the night or tomorrow or never. Instead Diana invites us to “Sing to Me” and yes we do. We do it with pleasure because “We Are the Others”. This legend of a Delain song finally closes the set.

A different band now

It was a damn good show of Delain. Of course, it was not the same as with Charlotte, because both vocals are not totally different but have different colours. Diana’s vocals are deeper and dark as chocolate – at least to me – while Charlotte was on the candy and sugar sweet side. Two guitars on stage create a different sound than only one guitar. But that’s my personal taste. One has to learn and to accept that Delain is a different band now, still with some same songs, but with different arrangements. Not worse, not better, just different.

Get some merch

Of course, after the show, people change room, paaya visit to Jessika and Robin at the merch who had been so lonely during the slots. Being two really remarkable funny women, I believe, they had a lot of good fun though. Besides that, it indeed is important for the bands’ income that they can sell their merch at the concerts. All the streaming platforms don’t make our artists millionaires, but make use of them for nearly free. Just one tour-shirt makes the same money as 10.000 streams of a song.

Everything done right

Someone who did it right was Markus. I accidently ran into him and his wife when I entered the venue. We realized that we already must have met at SBOA 2023 and talked about previous and forthcoming concerts. Finally, he alone bought half of the whole merch, and he caught one of Illumishade’s set lists! Just have a look at the pics!

Illumishade will soon be on North American tour together with Visions Of Atlantis to support mighty Korpiklaani, save the dates:





Please buy merch and physical music or downloads from the bands official sources and don’t stream it for free because it steals your artists’ income.

Proofreading by DerminBoad

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.