CD Review: “Moonbathers” by Delain

Delain’s latest release, Moonbathers, successfully blends crunchy riffs with symphonic flair. The opening track, “Hands of Gold” is replete with galloping riffs and majestic orchestral samples. The track is straightforward with a stronger emphasis on heaviness than sheer complexity. There is a nice groove on “The Glory and The Scum”, the initial single on Moonbathers. A harsh critique on humanity and our lust for violence and corruption, vocalist Charlotte Wessels’ angelic voice contrasts with the track’s cynical lyrics. The downbeat “The Hurricane” is notable for its use of pathetic fallacy, using nature to symbolize human emotions. The track lacks the impact of other songs on the record and takes a while to grow on the listener. However, the somber ambience on “Chrysalis-The Last Breath” tugs at the heart thanks to the electronic percussion and dissonant piano. The aggressive “Pendulum” has a hooky riff that gets the head banging and a couple of nice guitar leads.

Moonbathers is an accessible record that is neither too heavy or too orchestral. Delain does not make things too complex on this record. The guitar riffs are catchy and crunchy and complement the classical samples. The production is top notch which is no surprise as Ted Jensen mastered the album. Jensen is a Grammy winning master engineer that has worked with such bands as Behemoth, Down, Pantera and Trivium.

Delain’s fifth album is a solid symphonic metal album. Fans of extreme metal will probably avoid Moonbathers, but the album’s polished sound and accessible songs will draw a large diverse audience. There is much to appreciate about Moonbathers and Delain’s popularity will continue to grow with this album.

For news and tour dates, check out the band’s website: http://www.delain.nl/