Back in 2014, I remember one night I had to get out from my apartment to throw all my stress out with SONATA ARCTICA. On that occasion, one of the bands performing just before the headlining group was DELAIN. It took me absolutely no time to dig their music and find out a bit more about them in the next few days. Symphonic metal is one genre that I’ve actively followed recently, and there are so many bands that I can listen to, follow and recommend. At this point, DELAIN is in my top bracket that I mention to metal newcomers to persuade them to join this phenomenal way of life.
DELAIN is in a very strong phase of their career, and such peak demands for another grand slam in terms of record writing. With their fifth album Moonbathers (August 26, Napalm Records), this band offers eleven tremendous tracks that are suitable to explore different emotions through experimental combinations of sounds that still fall within the symphonic metal range.
The opening track “Hands of Gold” complies with the perfect description of a number-one track that any album should offer: intense, catchy, strong chorus, firm instruments and the brutality added, in this case, by current ARCH ENEMY’S lead singer, Alissa White-Gluz. This is truly a spectacular song. “The Glory and the Scum” is one of my favorite tracks from the record, it offers a calmer environment but it keeps the darkness of the album that DELAIN can create with their music. The chorus is also a fantastic one, which lead singer Charlotte Wessels lands perfectly and accurately for the win!
“Suckerpunch” offers a deep message: “Suckerpunch the demons from my dreams…”, it’s also a great song that has the power to bring you a dose of positive vibes for your own good, and it was included in their previous EP, Lunar Prelude. “The Hurricane” slows down a bit the tempo of the record to this point in particular, but Charlotte still does a fantastic job and performs her notes with clarity. “Chrysalis – The Last Breath” is not exactly my cup of tea in general. It features lots of keyboards, but combined with other instruments they all do a pretty good job for a calmer song like this one.
“Fire With Fire” brings back the action in no time with a heavy riff and a melody that’s hard to not fall in love with. This is definitely the type of song that works fantastically when walking outside on a cloudy day. “Pendulum” offers a darker environment, with guttural voices at the very beginning, creating suspense and moving along with faster drums for the listener. “Danse Macabre” has one of those catchy choruses as well, not one that I would necessarily sing, but I love the fact that the vibe created is most similar to the majority of the songs released in the eighties, but with the symphonic metal ingredient on it.
“Scandal” reminds me of a soap opera. It’s just a different kind of track that moves along with the album’s rhythm, but with a happier sound. “Turn the Lights Out” prepares us to close the disc. Charlotte’s voice sounds beautiful in this track and there’s no way anyone can deny that she’s becoming a symbolic singer in the genre. Fantastic job by everyone in the band. The last song, “The Monarch” is decent headbanging material, one that I would personally place at the credits of any movie. It clearly marks the end of the album and closes a journey that moves your emotions in waves during all the songs.
Charlotte (lead singer), Timo (guitar), Otto (bass), Martjin (keyboards), Ruben (drums) and Merel (guitar) had to work on a tight and busy schedule with a full touring cycle to produce this album. Honestly, all this is some pretty good material. I played it myself about five times before coming up with this review, and I was amazed since I hit play and were completely sold by DELAIN’S work. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project for making me sleep very late because I just couldn’t stop listening to this album.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Hands of Gold”, “The Glory and the Scum”, “Fire With Fire”, “Pendulum”, “Danse Macabre”