DELAIN - Moonbathers
Mastered by Ted Jensen
Otto Schimmelpennick van der Oije
01. Hands Of Gold (feat. Alissa White-Gluz)
02. The Glory And The Scum
04. The Hurricane
05. Chrysalis - The Last Breath
06. Fire With Fire
08. Danse Macabre
10. Turn the Lights Out
11. The Monarch
12. Suckerpunch (live in The Netherlands)
13. Turn The Lights Out (live in The Netherlands)
14. The Glory And The Scum (live in The Netherlands)
15. Don't Let Go (live in The Netherlands)
16. The Glory And The Scum (orchestra)
17. Hands Of Gold (orchestra)
I had heard of Delain via the plethora of advertisements scattered amongst the internet cosmos. Even tried listening to them a few times via Soundcloud, but honestly, I really wasn’t impressed. Delain sounds like your run-of-the-mill symphonic modern metal band. I say modern, because the quality of the recordings suggests bombastic kick drums that are certainly radio ready, as do the guitars. I decided to give “Moonbathers” a try to see exactly what it was all about.
My first impression of the album, and what made me actually want to listen to it, was the album cover. Yes, it makes a difference to me. It reminded me of a modern version of Art Deco or art that was created in the early part of the 20th century, including the logo for the album name. I thought that it was unique enough to give me interest to see what they sounded like. “Hands of Gold” sounded like a combination of what a song would sound like at he beginning of a fantasy-epic and just..mud. The guitars were chugging, the kick drums were on double-kick throughout the whole song. Something I REALLY hate by the way, because I want to hear groove, especially in the first track. I heard some growling in there and a heavy mix of orchestral instruments. I honestly felt the mix was…muddy…not in terms of quality but in terms of that there was a million things going on at the same time in the song that I couldn’t focus.
“The Glory and the Scum,” I honestly looked at the song title and I asked, “what are you trying to say to me?” I proceeded to listen, given my affinity to try to judge a book by its cover. Honestly, the song sounds kind of brooding and dark. The guitars have a nice heavy crunch to them, almost remind me of a heavier version of a Nightwish song, with the orchestral arrangements but the vocals are completely different. Wessels sounds like she’s singing a lullaby when she sings the chorus, which actually sounds really nice because it’s got a good hook. At 4 minutes, I thought the song sounded a little short to me. The song definitely grew on me and took me a few listens before I began to appreciate it.
“Suckerpunch,” was the hook that got me to buy. Out of all the songs on the album, this one is the most listenable. It has words people can sing a long to along with a catchy rhythm. It’s hard to describe why I like this song so much, but out of all the songs on the album, it’s the most radio ready and something I could see being part of a movie soundtrack.
The vocal arrangements are actually really beautiful in several spots on the album. Sometimes they’re a bit overdone and other times they’re perfect. “Danse Macabre,” for example are perfect for the song. It’s not a rocking song by any means but I can’t see myself listening to it at the beach or during the day. “Danse Macabre” has this dark beauty that combines heavily mixed in keyboard, lower-tuned guitars and bass guitar carrying this fall-weather feel of a song. It’s best described as darkly-relaxing.
The last song I want to talk about is “Turn the Lights Out.” Wessels sounds like she singing with feeling instead of just trying to hit the notes. It’s another lullaby kind of song that probably best describes what the album sounds like. The song has been stuck in my head multiple times since I’ve purchased the album.
OVERALL: “Moonbathers” has this dark-lullaby like feel to it that actually gives off the impression that if metal existed in the 1920’s and had orchestral arrangements, it would sound like this. The album cover completely fits what the band was going for. Personally, I want more edge with my singing and I felt that the singing, albeit sounded great, didn’t have that. I don’t feel like the album is going to grab many people like some other symphonic metal bands. As preposterous as this might sound, I felt that some of the songs might have sounded better without the symphonic element to them. “Monarch.” Take out the keyboards and the symphony and all of a sudden they have a Fear Factory like sound to them. I would LOVE to hear this album sans classical music, it would be much harder hitting, but…it wouldn’t be Delain. As a casual listener of this genre of metal, I liked album as a whole, it’s not my favorite by any means and despite what I wrote, and I don’t have a lot of horrible things to say about it. “Suckerpunch” is the best song of the album. For Autumn, check this album out.
by Matthew Haumschild - GM editor for USA
The Dutch band comes back with an album that in my personal opinion is quite better than the previous one; Even if the essence of Delain'sound didn't change, I can affirm that the band has developed the most of work, looking for the right melodic groove in which Charlotte's voice outstands and the others can create the perfect ornament!
The opener "Hands of Gold" is a mixture between melodic gothic and melodic black metal!
Yes, it's not a mistake! The special guest Alissa White-Gluz has made a great and essential support by growl vocals; Powerful and straight I'm sure it will be very appreciated by those who loves very heavy but melodic songs; Keyboards and guitars at the same level , but the melody is always on top!
"The Glory And The Scum" is another classic Delain song in which heavy parts are the dark carpet on which Charlotte's voice outlines great vocal melodies; "Suckerpunch" is a mid tempo song that really represents the classic Delain mark!
A powerful and melodic refrain is the essence of the song in which the Marel and Timo guitars are supported by a great rhytmic session!
"The Hurricane" begins with a very delicate Charlotte's voice, and I can't but admit that her voice is as charmin' as her womanliness; this song is very deep even it can't be labelled as ballad!
The real ballad is just the next song "Chrisalis - The Last Breath" in which the band puts together some Celtic visions to a very deep and intense Gothic sound into an acoustic performance
The time to bang hard is back with the next "Fire With Fire", heavy metal riffs for a very heavy and classic song and appreciable also for classic defenders! The chorus is very decaying even if the band shows versatility and some classic heavy influences.
"Pendulum" is one of my favourite song! One of their most powerful song in which they play a very modern metal
riff in which Charlotte's voice is like an angelic vision into a deep forest who's trying to "lure" you into this dark dimension;
"Danse Macabre" is another great song, but may be in my personal opinion too conventional and similar;Even if the song is great, it seems that Delain don't move too forward from the "safe harbour" .
It's for a successful cover! "Scandal" is a Queen song very well re-arranged by the band, who found the perfect
sound, and Charlotte's voice is just perfect! As powerful as well arranged; Very good job!
"Turn The Lights Out" is a mid-tempo-song characterized by a great melody ; The closing song is "The Monarch", it's very powerful modern Symphonic Gothic made by great Celtic parts and great dark chorus!
I want to remind you that this album is sold with another cd, containing the live versions of Suckerpunch (live in The Netherlands), Turn The Lights Out (live in The Netherlands), The Glory And The Scum (live in The Netherlands), Don't Let Go (live in The Netherlands), The Glory And The Scum (orchestra), Hands Of Gold (orchestra), Delain didn't make something new, but they surely know how to find great melodic solution and powerful arrangments...it's just like to say "never change a winning recipe"
by Salvo Russo - GM editor for Italy