Delain – Hunter’s Moon review

The twin guitars of both Timo and Merel give the song some might and, with the rest of the band in tow, this is probably one of the best...

Released By: Napalm Records

Release Date: Out Now

Genre: Symphonic Metal

Line Up:

Charlotte Wessels – Vocals
Martijn Westerholt – Keyboard
Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije – Bass
Joey Marin de Boer – Drums
Timo Somers – Guitar
Merel Bechtold – Guitar

Brand New Studio Tracks:
1. Masters Of Destiny
2. Hunter’s Moon
3. This Silence Is Mine
4. Art Kills

Live From Utrecht:
5. Hands Of Gold – Live (feat. George Oosthoek)
6. Danse Macabre – Live
7. Scarlet – Live  
8. Your Body Is A Battleground – Live (feat. Marco Hietala)
9. Nothing Left – Live  (feat. Marco Hietala)
10. Control The Storm – Live (feat. Marco Hietala)
11. Sing To Me – Live (feat. Marco Hietala)
12. Not Enough – Live
13. Scandal – Live (feat. Marco Hietala)
14. The Gathering – Live (feat. Marco Hietala)

Delain are one of the premier Symphonic Metal bands along with the likes of Nightwish and Within Temptation. Keyboard player Westerholt was previously a member of Within Temptation although left in 2002 and formed Delain to continue being involved in music.

I was very impressed with their first album recorded in 2005 and released in 2006 (Lucidity) using a mixture of guest musicians and also introducing the listener to the wondrous voice of singer Charlotte Wessels. The second album released in 2009 was a more tight knit band affair and continued the upward trajectory of the band. The relative success of the album allowed the band to tour extensively including festivals like Wacken and Soniphere and quickly re-enter the studio to record the follow up and best album……. so far (We Are The Others). Since then their have been a couple of line-up changes and the addition of the brilliant guitarist Merel Bechtold who will be known to Metal fans as being a member of the superb Purest of Pain and MaYan (Check both bands out, you won’t be disappointed).

So, on to present day the band have released a their third prelude EP along with 10 live tracks to whet our appetite for the next full length album due out sometime this year.

First track Masters of Destiny is exactly what fans would hope for and expect. A superb orchestral track lifted by Charlotte’s powerful and hauntingly beautiful voice. The twin guitars of both Timo and Merel give the song some might and, with the rest of the band in tow, this is probably one of the best songs the band have ever written. Next up is the title track which carries on the momentum of the EP. The hook of the chorus and the intensity of the guitars are again at the forefront of the track proving the value in having 2 adept guitarists in the ranks.

And it is the 2 axe wielders who contribute their writing skills on the next two tracks. Timo’s track The Silence Is Mine combines both keyboard and guitar intro before the vocals however, I feel this track would have worked better as an instrumental and should have been a little longer to give the listener a chance to enjoy the song. it’s kinda over just as it’s beginning. However, I hope Timo continues in this songwriting vein and gains confidence to keep up the inspired songs he obviously has within him. Lastly on the EP is a track by Merel called Art Kills. I expected great things after being a fan of the guitarists other projects and I was not disappointed. Delain have now got an edge which may have been slightly lacking and the addition of Merel has completed the band. The track itself is both heavy and light with a brilliant guitar solo (somewhere in the middle) and shows the benefit of having songwriters who write differently although unmistakably under the Delain umbrella. I am looking forward to the new album which I hope will push Delain into the consciousness of more fans, not just within the Symphonic Metal genre but crossing over into the mainstream of Metal.

I saw Delain live in Bristol, UK back in November 2014 which, I think, was Merel’s first appearance with the band (I stand to be corrected). It was definitely a gig I won’t forget because Delain live are superb. The 10 tracks on the second part of the EP show just how good they are as a live band. The added bonus of these tracks is 6 of them feature the vocal talents of Marco Hietala (Nightwish). Marco has been involved with Delain since the first album and adds a touch of celebrity to the songs he is featured on.

The tracks are a greatest hits of Delain and you can hear and feel the energy and buzz generated by the band. Of particular interest to me was the track Scandal. The song was originally a Queen track on The Miracle album and, sadly, was never performed live by the band, which makes it all the more special to hear Delain’s version of it. Charlotte’s voice is as exceptional as ever and Marco sounds like he is having a lot of fun with the band.

Overall this EP and Live album is absolutely superb. 4 Brilliant new songs added to the Delain canon and a reminder of just how good Delain are as a live band. Bring on the next album and please get over to the UK for a full tour!

Reviewer – Simon Kneller

SCORE – 9/10

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