“Moonbathers” is the fifth studio album by Symphonic Metal group Delain and was released on August 26th, 2016.
Delain to me have been a band that I would hear a bit about and then not hear anything for awhile. They almost seem to just pop up randomly on my radar from time to time. I dig their style and always thought they had serious playing chops. However is their newest record something they expand upon within their sound or is it the same thing just rehashed again. Let us find out!
1. Hand of Gold- opening with some very melodic riffing, this album comes right out of the gates with a very nice booming production in the instrumental department. The only thing that slightly irks me is that the vocals seem to be a tad buried to me. I do appreciate Charlotte's vocals they really compliment the music very well. The chorus is pretty catchy but seems to be missing a push to it, maybe its just my ears. The song is pretty straight forward in terms of Symphonic Metal with some cool death growls that a first time listener would totally not expect on first listen. Pretty good opener.
2. The Glory and The Scum- I really like the keyboard in this song it really adds to the epic atmosphere they are trying to achieve. It gets a lot more heavy at the end with some awesome solo trading that I appreciate but again there seems to be something lacking in the chemistry to me just a bit.
3. SuckerPunch- This song begins like an 80's pop number which I like. It really blends different sounds together and the lyrics have a very 80's feel to them as well. This is a very good number that blends both brute heaviness with good musicianship.
4.The Hurricane- This one starts familiarly like the last one but is a lot more mellow and has a brash ballad-like structure to it that changes up the pace a bit which brings more emotion to the album as well. Probably my favorite song on this release because they balance their core sound with more emotion and it is done very well.
5. Chrysalis- The Last Breath- I love the beginning to this track because well I am a sucker for soft piano compositions and the foreboding violins in the back really at to it as well. For some reason I like when Delain do more soft numbers because I feel like all the members shine with their crafting and it really breaks up how the album started to me and actually makes for some interesting listening.
6 Fire With Fire- This song returns to the heavier sound and I think is the best upbeat track on the album as well. It has really catchy riffing and the vocals really follow the rhythm very well. It is probably the most straightforward song on the album as well. This one definitely would work extremely well live for these guys.
7. Pendulum- This track contains probably the most death metal-like influences with heavy down tuned riffing and growling vocals in a lot of parts that contrast with the very beautifully sang verses. The song feels sort of stagnant for me as it doesn't feel like it really goes anywhere but it isn't a bad song by any means.
8. Danse Macabre- I really like the synth in the song with the almost Accept feeling in the riffs I get at times. It is another number that blends heavy melody with heavy riffing and this one does it fairly well creating some interesting sounds with the piano being out front during the chorus riffs as well.
9. Scandal- There's some cool synths in here and has that heavy 80's techno sound blended in it as well which I dig. This is another one of my favorites for how catchy the melody is within its structure. Easily one of the best on the album as well.
10. Turn The Lights Out- The opening is really well thought out and composed and almost feels like the score to a film which shows off the crisp flowing production. This song however, in the end, seems very similar to “Danse Macabre” and almost blends with it and that can be slightly a problem to me. It feels like parts of the songs are recycled between the two and that doesn't always spell good but there are still things to like here as it has some really awesome vocal harmonies with an orchestra toward the middle that I really appreciate.
11. The Monarch- Again, I love the beautiful echoing piano with the strings as well it creates such an amazing atmosphere, This song has a lot more focus around the orchestra and is probably the shortest and perhaps most beautiful song on the album and is a nice way to wrap up all eleven tracks.
Overall I give the album I'd say, a 6.5 out of 10. If you dig Symphonic metal you will probably enjoy this album, it reaches the core sound that most expect from that genre. The only problem for me is that a lot of it follows a similar formula that ultimately leaves me wanting more. I want to see what else they could do but especially in the guitar department, it sticks to the same riffing style almost all the way through it seems to me. I understand a lot of the bands I listen to are predictable, they follow a lot of the same formulas. However, that is what I expect from those artists and with most groups from this genre I expect elements that are going to surprise me and really make the lasting power of said album.
With “MoonBathers” I feel like they had some interesting things and some interesting songs sprinkled throughout, but unfortunately that doesn't make up a whole album for me. I wish Delain all the success, they definitely put the work in I guess it just wasn't for me. You can pick up “Moonbathers” on August 26th at Napalm Records.com
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