As promised by their Lunar Prelude EP earlier this year, symphonic metal band Delain returns with their fifth album Moonbathers. Okay, I know. Both the album name and art are rather strange. Of the name, vocalist and principal lyricist Charlotte Wessels said, "I chose moonbathers, rather than sunbathers, as a metaphor for those who find comfort in darkness." As for the album art, it kind of reminds of something Blue Oyster Cult might image for an album.
But moving on to the content of Moonbathers, in Delain's case there's nothing really new under the sun. There's pure bombastic symphonic melodic heavy power metal. It's what they do. You really can't expand on the obvious. The album contains both songs from the EP, Turn The Lights On and Suckerpunch. The latter is one of the best songs here as Delain melds their symphonic metal with dangerously addicting groove for some serious, almost AOR, accessibility. Similar, but definitely faster and heavier, is the swift power of Fire With Fire.
Alternatively, for the grandiose pompousness of crushing symphonic metal Turn The Lights On and Hands Of Gold while satisfy the fans. The former has some of that catchy rock groove of Suckerpunch and the refrain is sweet. Be warned, however, that the latter song contains some death grunts and growl. And it sounds like there may be some in The Glory and the Scum, maybe at the start of Pendulum. Whatever. It's just a nuisance.
For something more provocative, Delain goes out on a musical limb and covers Queen's Scandal from 1989's The Miracle. To be honest, I never listened to much Queen stuff after Jazz. If anything Delain gets the groove of the song, puts a metal spin on it, and dials back on the symphonic element. It's like "pop" metal, which makes sense as Queen was way deep into being musically uncreative top 40 pop band by the late Eighties.
Bottom line: if you like Delain's continued symphonic metal presence and direction, you will enjoy Moonbathers. Is it all that novel or musically forward for the band? Perhaps not so much.
If you like Delain's continued symphonic metal presence and direction, you will enjoy Moonbathers. Is it all that novel or musically forward for the band? Perhaps not so much.
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