They are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, the symphonic metal band Delain from the Dutch town of Zwolle. Well, so completely not true. The first start, the band did already in 2002. That year, keyboardist Martijn Westerholt started the project, but with an entirely different line-up. In the same year the now rare demo “Amenity” was published. Thereafter, the band project rested until Delain were able to sign a deal with Roadrunner Records. The official start of the band is now considered in September 2006, in which also the debut album “Lucidity” was published. In February this year The EP “Lunar Prelude” was released as a foretaste of the fifth album. Now the waiting is over for the fans, the new album MOONBATHERS is finished.
What already implied to “Lunar Prelude” confirms the opener “Hands Of Gold”. Delain plays in many songs much harder than on the previous albums. With a lot of orchestral bombast and banging guitars which is a great start-up to MOONBATHERS. So then also the by Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) sung growls fit outstandingly. Even “The Glory and the Scum” underline the new self-image of the Dutch. The extremely melodic vocals of Charlotte Wessels are backed by hard guitar riffs. And of the power of Sucker Punch you could already convince yourself on the EP.
With “The Hurricane” Delain allow their fans the first breather. The song is designed quiet, yet punchy guitar riffs are heard but also balladic melody lines. Accompanied by quiet piano music, Charlotte Wessels shows in “Chrysalis – The Last Breath” that she is an outstanding singer. A beautiful ballad. But already with “Fire With Fire” it is over with the quietness, a fast, yet melodic rock song with heavy guitar riffs. “Pendulum” is a Delain-typical pop-rock song, but which is also characterized by driving guitar riffs. In the second part is a great guitar solo to hear.
“Danse Macabre” is also a more poppy song, but with a lot of guitar and drum power. For me one of the highlights of the album is the Queen cover “Scandal”. Orchestral bombast mixed with banging guitars and powerful vocals. Given a crazy guitar solo in the middle. That way I like the song much better than the original. The Delain typical rock-pop anthem “Turn the Lights Out” was also already on the EP. And finally there’s “The Monarch” a beautiful power ballad, at the beginning dominate the strings, then later plays the whole orchestra.
It is not easy for rock musicians, to evolve their sound without alienating their old fans. Delain have succeeded on their fifth album with flying colours. The well-known trademarks, such as beautiful melodies, symphonic orchestration and clear as a bell vocals were extended by punchy drum playing and banging guitar riffs. In particular, engaging Merel Bechtold as second guitar player has benefited the band remarkably well and provides a heavy guitar sound. MOONBATHERS is a thoroughly enjoyable album with varied song writing. The rocking sound that the Dutch already offer live can now be heard on a studio production.
Photos by Sandra Ludewig
Official lyric video to “The Glory And The Scum”: https://youtu.be/vtaVKW5N_VE
Charlotte Wessels – Vocals
Martijn Westerholt – Keyboards
Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije – Bass
Ruben Israel – Drums
Timo Somers – Guitar
Merel Bechtold – Guitar
Label: Napalm Records
Hands Of Gold
The Glory and the Scum
Chrysalis – The Last Breath
Fire With Fire
Turn the Lights Out
Release date: 26-08-2016
Reviewer: Rainer Kerber