In 2001, Martijn Westerholt was forced to leave Within Temptation after contracting Pfeiffer's disease. In 2002, he formed Delain. In the same year, they independently released the demo Amenity. After the demo, Martijn Westerholt temporarily left the project behind, but continued to write music. In 2005, he joined with Charlotte Wessels, and was signed to Roadrunner Records. At the time, the band was envisioned as a musical project featuring a host of guest musicians, and not as a live band.
Lucidity brought to fruition Martijn Westerholt's dream of a musical project, featuring many well-known musicians from the metal community: Marco Hietala (exNightwish and ex-Tarot) bass, vocals, Liv Kristine (ex-Leaves' Eyes) vocals, Ariën van Weesenbeek, (ex-God Dethroned, Epica) drums, Ad Sluijter (ex-Epica) guitar, George Oosthoek (MaYan) growling and Guus Eikens, both former members of Orphanage, Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) vocals and Jan Yrlund from (Imperia) guitar.
Despite many delays, Lucidity was released in September 2006, to generally positive reviews. The album spawned three singles: Frozen, See Me In Shadow and "The Gathering", and the response to the album allowed Delain to tour in support in the Netherlands and neighbouring countries. Rob van der Loo, Ronald Landa and Sander Zoer were added on bass, guitar and drums respectively to round out the live band.
April Rain (2008-2010)
At the end of 2007, Delain announced that they were working on their second album. New songs from the album, "Stay Forever" and "Start Swimming", were added to the band's setlist in early 2008. Their second album, April Rain was released on February 9, 2009. The lead single was the title track, "April Rain", followed by "Stay Forever". The band toured extensively in support of the album, visiting many new countries such as the United States and Mexico, as well as performing at high-profile festivals in Europe, including Hellfest, Lowlands, Wacken Open Air and Sonisphere. In February 2010, Delain announced they had started working on their third album, and that bassist Rob van der Loo would leave the band the same year due to time constraints. In March, Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije was announced as Rob's successor. On October 4, 2010, Delain announced they were to part company with guitarist Ewout Pieters. Timo Somers was announced as his replacement on April 17, 2011.
We Are the Others (2011–2012)
During their 2011 live shows, Delain debuted three new songs, "Manson" (later renamed to "Mother Machine"), "Get the Devil Out of Me" and "Milk and Honey", from their third album, We Are the Others. In an interview with Sonic Cathedral, Charlotte Wessels discussed the inspiration she drew from the Sophie Lancaster case:
I remember when I first heard about it … it wasn’t on Dutch news, I just heard about it through Internet networks and the goth scene … there was this movie made about it, a short film of about four minutes. I saw it, and I just cried. It’s so incredibly sad! After seeing the movie, I didn’t really DO anything with it until we were working on “We Are The Others.” But the basic idea of the lyrics was there. It was just supposed to be a song about “we are the others” and a feeling of togetherness. On the one hand, being proud of whoever you are, whether you divert from the norm in whatever way you divert from the norm. But on the other hand, it is also kind of a song for “others”. We just wanted a song about acceptance.
Originally intended for release in early 2012, the album's release date was unknown due to Warner Music's purchase of Roadrunner Records. However, it was announced via a Facebook message on the band official page that the album would be released on June 1, 2012 with the album's first single, 'Get the Devil Out of Me' being released on 13 April 2012 via CNR Music, who took over Delain from Warner Music. The second single from the album was the title track, 'We Are the Others'. It was announced on 3 November that Delain would headline Dames of Darkness Festival (Wolverhampton, UK) which they had previously headlined in 2009 (under the Femme Metal Festival).
On 26 February 2013, Delain announced that they will release a special album entitled Interlude that would include new songs, covers, live tracks, special versions of previous songs and a bonus DVD. It was released on various dates throughout the first week of May worldwide.
The Human Contradiction
On 23 January 2014, Delain announced that they will release a new album entitled The Human Contradiction. It was released on April 5, 2014 in Europe, and on April 8, 2014 in North America.
On June 4, 2014, it was announced that drummer Sander Zoer would step down from the band due to personal reasons; he would continue working behind the scenes of Delain. The replacement drummer was announced to be Ruben Israel, who had stepped in for Zoer during Delain's tour with Kamelot. Zoer continued to perform until September, until he left for personal reasons and was replaced by Israel.
The band brought then Merel Bechtold (MaYaN, Purest of Pain) as a second guitarist for their UK tour in November 2014. Bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije suffered an injury on November 26, 2014, when he was accidentally hit by a streamer cannon, causing his left testicle to rupture. This incident was said to be caused by uncertain stage positioning, as there were six people onstage instead of the usual five. While he was recovering, the band used pre-recorded bass parts. No permanent damage was done, and as of January 12, 2015, Otto has resumed touring. Merel Bechtold filled in for guitarist Timo Somers until February, due to Timo Somers' full schedule.
Delain toured with Sabaton and Battle Beast, and also North America with Sabaton as support for Nightwish for the first half of 2015 and returned to Latin America during October as a support of them. Delain toured as support again for Nightwish's tour on the second North American leg in 2016 with Sonata Arctica. This makes it the fourth year in a row the band has toured in the United States and Canada.
On October 19, 2015, Delain made recurring touring guitarist Merel Bechtold a permanent member.
Lunar Prelude EP, Moonbathers (2016–2018)
Delain's first live video album, A Decade of Delain: Live at Paradiso was filmed at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, Netherlands for the band's 10th anniversary on December 10, 2016. It was released on October 27, 2017.
On August 30, 2018, Joey de Boer was made a permanent member of Delain after filling in for Ruben Israel, who left the band in October 2017.
Hunter's Moon EP, Apocalypse & Chill and solo continuation (2018–present)
Delain announced a new EP titled Hunter's Moon on December 13, 2018. The EP was released on February 22, 2019. "Masters of Destiny", the first single of the EP was released on January 11, 2019 along with a music video.
On September 27, 2019, "Burning Bridges", the first single of the album was released, which made its debut days before during their North America tour. On November 15, 2019, the second single of the album, "One Second", was released.
The band officially announced the title of their sixth studio album, Apocalypse & Chill, on November 29, 2019. It was released on February 7, 2020.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the band was nominated by Arch Enemy vocalist Alissa White-Gluz for a benefit livestream concert called Together At Home. Lead singer Charlotte Wessels and guitarist Timo Somers both participated and did an acoustic version of songs and were the final performers of the livestream nominations.
On 15 February 2021, it was announced that Delain's lineup had dissolved, and that it would be continuing as a solo project of Martijn Westerholt, who stated that he will continue to "keep Delain alive". In the statement, he said: "Delain will live on. The others have chosen to pursue different paths. I have decided to keep Delain alive by continuing on with writing and producing the music for Delain as I always have. I started Delain as a project in 2002 and for the next album I will take it back to a project form, releasing music with special guests. As it looks now many familiar faces will be returning to join me on this journey." In Wessels' statement on her departure, she added that she was moving onto her solo career, but wishing the other members and the fans well:
"I hope that Delain remains a positive force in everyone’s lives. We Are The Others, always will be, and none of this changes that."
Amenity (2002) demo
April rain (2009)
We Are The Others (2012)
Interlude (2013) compilation
The Human Contradiction (2014)
Lunar Prelude (2016) ep
A Decade of Delain: Live at Paradiso (2017) live
Hunter's Moon (2019) ep
Apocalypse & Chill (2020)
Martijn Westerholt keyboards (2002, 2005–present)
Merel Bechtold – rhythm guitar (2015–2019; live 2013, 2014-2015)
Rob van der Loo – bass (2006–2010)
Ronald Landa – guitars, backing vocals (2006–2009)
Ray van Lente – guitars (2006–2007)
Ewout Pieters – guitars, backing vocals (2009–2010)
Sander Zoer – drums (2006–2014)
Ruben Israel – drums (2014–2017; live 2013)
Charlotte Wessels – lead vocals (2005–2021)
Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije bass guitar, backing vocals, harsh vocals (2010–2021)
Timo Somers – guitar, backing vocals (2011–2021)
Joey de Boer – drums (2018–2021, live 2017–2018)
Roy van Enkhuyzen – guitars (2002)
Frank van der Meijden guitars (2002)
Anne Invernizzi – vocals (2002)
Martijn Willemsen – bass (2002)
Tim Kuper – drums (2002)
Roel Vink – bass (2009)
Bas Maas – guitar (2012)
Jan Rechberger – drums (2019)
Marco Hietala – bass (2006), vocals (2006, 2009, 2014)
Ad Sluijter – guitar (2006)
Guus Eikens – guitar, backing vocals (2006, 2009, 2012, 2014)
Ariën van Weesenbeek drums (2006)
Rosan van der Aa backing vocals (2006)
Jan "Örkki" Yrlund – guitar (2006)
Sharon den Adel - vocals (2006)
Liv Kristine - vocals (2006)
George Oosthoek - vocals (2006, 2009, 2012, 2014)
Alissa White-Gluz - vocals (2014, 2016)
Burton C. Bell - vocals (2012)