I am lucky enough to be able to review my first ever Delain album and what can I say. This is most certainly an album which really packs a ‘Suckerpunch’. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Delain (you are about to be introduced to a slice of heaven) they are a rather incredible band from the beautiful Netherlands who put symphonic metal firmly onto many playlists across the world (mine included). Delain are led by the majestic maestro Martijn Weterholt (keyboard), Otto Schimmelpennick van der Oije (bass), Ruben Israel (drums), Merel Bechtold (guitar), Timo Somers (guitar) and the absolutely flawless vocalist Charlotte Wessels. They released their first album back in 2006 and have only gone from strength to strength as the years have passed bringing us beautifully to their fifth album release Moonbathers.
The first track Hands of Gold is a purely monstrous track in all the best ways, this song is fast, heavy and features the amazing Alissa from Arch Enemy, showing the pure diversity of tones that Delain can create. It begins as all epic battles should by building up the pace and volume ready to take you on a journey into album perfection as Charlotte unleashes her stunning vocals onto the track providing the power and energy of a goddess leading her army to battle. Hands of Gold for me is just a perfect example of how different genres can mould together to create a beautiful and well performed track.
Which leads us onto The Glory and the Scum. The musical content within this track is pure genius using power juxtaposed with softness to create the perfect backing for the beautiful tones within Charlotte’s voice. This song truly brings out the power and strength in Charlotte as she takes the listener into a detailed tale of the best and worst kept within us all. I have to say that Moonbathers has one of the strongest track listings I have seen for quite some time, amazing job as always.
Suckerpunch has a different feel to it, almost like a chant leading into a rather beautiful anthem I shall take with me throughout this album. Once again the music takes us on a beautiful journey led by an incredible vocalist whom I could spend all day complimenting. I can say without hesitation that Suckerpunch is one of my new personal favourite tracks. Timo’s guitar solo is extraordinary and shows how Delain really speak to their fans through their music.
After Suckerpunch comes The Hurricane. This track once again gives us yet another feel and a different insight as to the range Charlotte can create with her vocals, it has a classic Delain feel to it yet gives the listener a whole new experience. The imagery created in the lyrics of this song is truly powerful, for me personally it took me to the mythology of the ever mysterious gods and their fight between love and power. A battle which is extremely powerful and one which I believe will always be eternal. Delain have once again created another favourite track for which I thank them wholeheartedly.
Chrysalis is a haunting track. The solo vocal introduction is truly magnificent. The slowed down rhythm reflects the purity within the lyrics in a way many bands struggle to create. I strongly recommend giving this track a further listen to get the full impact of each and every lyric, every note played on the keyboard…. lose yourself in this track and I can assure you that you too will fall in love with Delain further than you thought possible through the emotion portrayed in this song.
Overall Moonbathers is an album I cannot stop talking about and would highly recommend to each and every female vocalist fan out there as it possesses the whole package within eleven amazingly mastered tracks. My recommended track absolutely has to be Suckerpunch due to that incredible guitar solo.
Martijn Weterholt (keys)
Otto Schimmelpennick van der Oije (bass)
Ruben Israel (drums)
Merel Bechtold (guitar)
Timo Somers (guitar)
Charlotte Wessels (vocals)
Hands of Gold
The Glory and the Scum
Chrysalis-The Last Breath
Fire with Fire
Turn the Lights out