Twenty-sixteen has been a great year for music so far in the rock and metal world and Delain adding some new music to the list is welcomed with open arms! Delain followed up to their 2014 album, ‘The Human Contradiction’, titled ‘Moonbathers‘ in another symphonic metal masterpiece from the Dutch rockers.
1). Hands of Gold
The Album opens up with a fast paced epic orchestral track, that almost reminds your of something from Pirates of the Caribbean at first, it sounds awesome, believe me. Then the vocals come in and it’s the beautiful voice of none other than Charlotte Wessels. She starts out soft and calm, but opens up as it hits the chorus and all of her heart and soul pours into your ears; it’s truly a beautiful vocal melody. As you hit the bridge of the song after the second chorus we get the screaming voice of guest vocalist Alissa White Gluz, which seems to be everyone’s go-to girl for guest screaming these days. It’s alright, but I think the song could have done without the screaming. Delain is such a great group of musicians and you don’t even have to get me started on Charlotte’s vocal abilities. I really feel like the screaming kind of vocals isn’t something Delain really needs when you have such a versatile vocalist and band backing it up. Either way, it’s a powerful opening track that gets you headbanging right at the start and I personally think it rocks!
2). The Glory and the Scum
The second track opens up with an awesome guitar riff and then kicking right into the classic awesome guitar and orchestral clash that Delain are known for. It fills you will pure power and energy! Charlotte comes in with yet another wonderful vocal melody that will be stuck in your head for the next few hours. Between the guitar work and the vocals in this song, it really stands out as one of the strongest tracks on the album in my opinion and it’s no wonder that it was one of the singles released from the album. After the second chorus, we get an eerie pause which quickly changes into a fast paced epic instrumental section that kicks your ass! Not to mention it ends with a pretty cool guitar solo. The song then comes to the last chorus, which only reminds you of how catchy the freaking melody of the song is. If you couldn’t tell, I really like this song.
This song was released by Delain all the way back in January and has been teasing me about this album for MONTHS. The track starts off with keyboards and a pretty neat drum beat that grabs your attention almost instantly. Of course, the vocals start off with a beautiful soft tone, which is always pleasing to the ears, but it’s when she starts getting more into it leading into the first chorus, you know she’s got you hooked into the song already. The chorus is big, that’s the only way I can describe it. Take a listen for yourself! Between the orchestra, guitars, keys, vocals and the choir-like vocals in the background…there’s so much to take in and it sounds wonderful. The song was enough to get me pumped for an album that still had 7 months to go before it was being released and it was no wonder why they were excited to share it with everyone.
4). The Hurricane
This track starts off with a slower paced drum and vocals immediately. This song takes a breather from the faster, more energetic songs from the beginning of the album. It’s a great song for Charlotte to show off her effortless and smooth vocal abilities. Every line she sings is full of pure emotion and you can really hear it in her voice. Overall, it’s a beautiful song and fits well into the mix and is a nice change from what you were hearing in the first few tracks.
5). Chrysalis – The Last Breath
The song starts off with a slow piano, followed by Charlotte who instantly fills you with the emotions she was feeling while writing the lyrics. From the start you can tell it’s a continuation of the slower paced music from the previous track, only this time, it’s even softer and pulls at your heartstrings from the saddened tone of the music. This ballad is where Charlotte seriously gets to show off her abilities as a vocalist. She hits every tone in her arsenal throughout the song and her angelic voice is the only thing there to keep you sucked in. The end is just great where she really lets loose and just kills it with pure emotion…seriously, her vocals are the main reason I love Delain if you couldn’t already tell, so this part of the song had me grinning from ear to ear out of pure amazement. You can almost feel the tears tugging at the corner of your eye by the time the track is finished.
6). Fire With Fire
Getting back to the more upbeat, faster tone of the beginning of the album, this song hits you with a nice guitar riff, with a cool lead heading into the heavier guitars you’ve been waiting for. The vocals come in with more catchy melodies, it seems at this point they have perfected making genius melodies that keep you wanting to listen to the song. The chorus does not disappoint, again not surprisingly, especially since this was the fourth song they released early off of the album. It’s an uplifting chorus that gets you wanting to get up and move around. Again, another solid track and what you would hope for and expect from Delain.
This track punches you in the face with heavy guitars and chanting as soon as it begins. The verses keep a great guitar riff chugging behind the alluring vocals that you’ve come to know and love. The chorus has the classic Delain sound, almost like a lot of their previous album, with Charlotte’s sweeter sounding vocals, that don’t quite cross over into the usual operatic style you hear in most symphonic metal. It’s really nice to have that change with Delain, they have their own sound and it’s just phenomenal. Nothing much else really to say besides it’s a harder hitting track that gets you wanting to bang your head to the rhythm of the song.
8) Danse Macabre
A few days ago Delain released short clips of each of the songs that were going to appear on the new album. Out of those clips, this song was one of the songs I was most excited to hear and it didn’t disappoint me when I heard the whole thing. What pulled me in was the elegant sound of Charlotte’s opening vocal melody of the song, it sent a chill down my spine and I couldn’t wait to hear more. When the keyboard comes out of the background, it kicks in with a groovy sound that gets you bobbing your head and just when you couldn’t get pulled in any more a tribal-like drum beat comes in and let’s just say it’s one of, if not my favorite opening of all the songs on this album. It’s killer! Her vocals carry you into the verse which is filled with, you guessed it, more alluring vocals from Charlotte which only continues throughout the rest of the song. What really stands out to me in this song is the playing from Martijn Westerholt, the keys in this song are probably the strongest on the album and you can tell he had a lot of fun with this one. Needless the say, this song was another highlight of the album for me.
Here we got a really awesome cover of Queen’s song ‘Scandal’. The song was already seriously catchy and groovy, but hearing it get modernized with the Delain treatment is pretty cool. They do the song justice I feel like, they keep the original feeling of the song but add their own little flavor to it. I feel like this is also a song where everyone gets a chance to shine, so it had to be fun for them all the record, I’m sure. It’s one of my favorite tracks off of the album, but I guess that isn’t a surprise since it was already a great song, to begin with. It’s a solid cover and I think it was an excellent choice for them.
10). Turn the Lights Out
This was the second track off of the album I had the pleasure of hearing when it was released earlier this year on Delain’s ‘Lunar Prelude’ EP disc they put out. It’s not a heavy or fast paced song, but it doesn’t need to be in order to get stuck in your head for days. Honestly, when I first heard this song, it was on repeat along with ‘Suckerpunch’ for a couple months! It opens up with soft vocals, then slowly drums start to come in. It all builds up to the chorus, which is one of the best chorus’ on the album. Charlotte’s vocals soar over a nice piano and guitar riff combo. It’s a melody I am still often catching myself humming after months of it being out. Simply put, it’s just beautiful. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the album and is probably one of the first I would suggest to someone to listen to if they were new to Delain.
11). The Monarch
The final track of the album sounds like just that, the end of something big. It reminds of what you would hear at the end credits of a huge epic film. It slowly builds up to a sick drum beat with the epic orchestra still backing it up. After that, you get a fast-paced guitar riff that gets you headbanging, it also has a cool guitar lead over it. It suddenly all comes to a halt and all you hear is the familiar soft vocals of Miss Wessels and then naturally a beautiful piano piece to go behind it…and then, that’s it. What? That can’t be the end already! That was my exact reaction, but it was true, after only 3 and a half minutes the final track was over, shortly after the vocals came in. The beginning was so huge and epic building up to an awesome faster paced beat, getting you pumped up for something great, but then it kind of just stops. This was really the only track on the album where I was left a little disappointed, not because it sucked, but because I was just left there wanting more. It was a tease! The odd song structure and intense build up, then sudden end could have been what they intended, but it felt like something was missing. I want more!
So there we have it, after months and months of waiting, the wait is finally over! The album surely did not disappoint me and has so many memorable tracks on it. The big thing that sets Delain apart from other symphonic metal bands to me, as I mentioned earlier, is the truly unique sound and style of Charlotte. She keeps a beautiful voice that is just amazing and soothing to hear but finds a way to still add a great amount of power and tons of emotion into it at the same time. That’s where most bands lose my interest and fall flat on their face to me, the vocals just aren’t powerful enough, but that certainly will never be a problem for Delain. My only complaint with their new effort was just that I was left wanting more! We got to hear 4 songs early, so that was already about a third of them album I already had on repeat. It’s a great album and if you are a fan of rock, metal or just music in general, I would definitely check it out!
You can buy their album here: http://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/store/catalogsearch/result/?cat=&q=delain+moonbathers
or check it out on Spotify on Friday, 8/27, when the album is released