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Delain - Hunter's Moon Award winner

Delain
Hunter's Moon
by Rachel Montgomery at 21 March 2019, 8:27 AM

I’ll admit, I’m biased. I’ve loved DELAIN since high school, and when I heard they were coming out with new material, I couldn’t wait. It’s only four new songs, while the rest of the album is made up of live tracks - organized akin to NIGHTWISH’s “Over The Hills and Far Away” EP; though no surprise there, as Marco Hietala, NIGHTWISH’s bassist, is a frequent guest singer on DELAIN’s work. “Master of Destiny” begins with a soft intro, before going from 0-100 after forty-five seconds. Then we’re treated to the pounding symphonic stylings of this genre. This song reminded me of my old teenage favorites, especially “Silhouette of a Dancer”. I enjoyed the echoing guitar solos and the outro.

I love music that transports me to my own Neverland, where I can get lost in a grand adventure, and “Hunter’s Moon” is no exception. My one caveat is that the background growls are too muted, especially if it is who I think it is singing; the background singer sounds a lot like Marco, and Marco’s voice should never growl and be drowned in the back with the ambiance, it’s too good. “The Silence is Mine” was OK, and probably the weakest of the original tracks in my opinion. It was short, electronically-heavy, but a solid track.

“Art Kills” brought me back to the title track from DELAIN’s second album “April Rain”, but with a more electronic sound. I still don’t know if adding electronica opens the doors for more progress and experimentation in the genre, or if it kills the human element of Symphonic Metal. Either way, the guitar solo is amazing. The sound on the live tracks was clear and sharp, even with the audience in the background. Some of the songs, such as “Danse Macabre”, didn’t even sound live when they began. Even better: many of the tracks featured Marco, and he and the lead singer can produce harmonies that weren’t on the original studio album. I particularly loved the harmonizing on “The Gathering”, which is also one of my favorite DELAIN songs.

My one caveat was the cover of “Scandal”, originally by QUEEN. At first, the singer’s lower vibrato couldn’t match Freddie Mercury’s legendary voice, and it shows. When Marco steps in to make the song a duet, and takes over the lower register of the song, the quality is back to its usual, good self. However, the opening exposed a flaw in the singer’s range that didn’t have to be uncovered. Other than the first few lines of the song, though, it’s a solid, innovative cover where DELAIN makes the song their own.

Overall, I love the sound quality on the live tracks, and the original songs are good enough to make me excited for their next full album.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
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)
Lineup:
Vocals: Charlotte Wessels (lead), Timo Somers (backing vocals)
Guitar: Timo Somers (lead), Merel Bechtold (rhythm)
Bass: Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije
Keyboards: Martijn Westerholt
Drums: Joey de Boer (tracks 1-4), Ruben Israel (tracks 5-14)

Guest Artists: Twan Driessen (backup vocals, track 4), George Oosthoek – (backup vocals, 5), Marco Hietala – (backup/duet vocals, tracks 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, and 14), Elianne Anemaat – (cello, track 7)
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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Edited 24 April 2019
 

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