Delain – Moonbathers (Napalm Records)

  Van Muylem    4 september 2016

Delain is a Dutch symphonic band that I follow since the release of The Human Contradiction.  I reviewed more recently their Lunar Prelude EP and saw them on stage at Graspop Metal Meeting and now they released their new album! It all feels like getting bigger and better!

Martijn Westerholt and Charlotte Wessels are still on the same boat and have now their 10th anniversary, ready to make this year rock hard (and for sure do)! It’s now their 5th album, making it very clear that they have grown and set out an even better sound and catchy tunes, but also rock hard and creating songs that will be hits on stage and will be favorite track for concerts all over the world!

Hands of Gold is a heavy and very fast starter; with Alissa’s grunting, growling & superb backing vocals. The guitars are sharp, the drums are explosive, the symphonic sound as great as on the previous album and it seems like Charlotte’s voice has even improved (her strength is really impressive).  I feel a positive vibe and puts the roof on fire with a broad smile!  The Glory and the Scum sounds like a great duet between the glory and the scum.  Once again the guitars are razor sharp, this time the break downs gives it an angelic touch.  The tempo is perfect, the music is just cool and it feels like it will work out fine on stage!  Yup, what else do we need?  

And we are only two tracks far! Suckerpunch has already been played during gigs (already figured on the Lunar Prelude EP) and was clearly ready for it as it’s a very melodic and very catchy track that will haunt you for days!  It’s simply one of the best tracks on the album and will for sure open more doors for them!  We get some soft sweetness with The Hurricane: the royal ballad for this album.  It’s clear that Charlotte and her mates can also improve the idea of the perfect ballad with great success!  The end is a bit bombastic, but that’s fine with me.

Chrysalis - The last Breath is another perfect crafted ballad! It’s fragile, with an angelic voice that touches you deep!  I even hear some electronics!  It’s tearjerker and might even work on stage (maybe not in open air, but still …).  The backings are very impressive (or should I say the mixing of Charlotte’s voice into the backings?).  It’s a pearl, for sure!  Fire with Fire is fueled, fast, catchy, energetic and has it all! I can see the fireworks at the end of a gig whilst they play this one with passion and dedication (arms will go in the air during the chorus)!  Will this be there closing song from now on?  Pendulum sounds sweet, with a nice symphonic sound that has been pushed a bit onwards the background of the song.  The backings gives it that extra touch that makes it interesting on stage (a lot of people will scream a-long). It has a bit more growling and grunting, but charlotte’s voice brings the perfect balance.  The guitars sound pretty heavy and the drums pretty hard (when needed).  

Danse Macabre sounds sweet than the title, yup my fantasy … It sounds pretty catchy, despite the darker lyrics. You have to dare to come out with Scandal, the Queen cover!  They even received the blessing of Brian May!  Their version sounds like an 80’s metal band, with some effects on the vocals (metallic sound). Even the guitars sound pretty retro. It’s a new sound, but I can say I like it!  This song gives an extra touch and extra variation to this already great album (starts to be a legendary album, and the review isn’t finished yet).  Another catchy song is Turn the lights out is a catchy and sweet track. After listening to the albums for days I can even call it my favorite track of the album.  It’s melancholic and an angelic earworm with a sing-a-long moment during the chorus.  Be ready to shed a tear whilst the guitars and the symphonic sound explode. They don’t end with a big bang, but with The Monarch: a song that comes close to be a lullaby.

I thought it was going to be hard to beat their previous record as my expectations were sky high but they did impress me!  This album is simply (I’m sorry about this classic one, but it’s the truth): better, faster, harder where it was hard before and softer were it was soft before!  They crafted harder and better, each detail is an enrichment!  Delain rocks sky high! Welcome to the world of real stars!