I am a fan of this band since they played in Bolwerk Sneek a few years ago and the audience went completely crazy. Like some other Dutch bands they play symphonic metal with a bit gothic feeling and very catchy songs. Biggest ace in the deck is Charlotte Wessels with her beautiful singing lines, but without the creative brain Martijn Westerholt (keyboard) the band would not have such good songs. Earlier this year they released the EP ‘Lunar Prelude’, with a couple of live songs and 2 new tracks: “SuckerPunch”and “Turn The Lights Out”, which also can be found back on this new album. This EP already gave a foretaste of the new album. A continuation and deepening of their rather bombastic sounding style with crunchy guitars, big orchestrations, modern influences and catchy sing a long songs.
Opener “Hands of Gold”, with Alissa from Arch Enemy adding some grunts is immediately one of the heaviest ones. Orchestral parts sometimes reminding of Epica and Nightwish, heavy crunchy riffs and a contagious rhytmn form this song. The bombast continues with the second track, but compared to the first it is much softer. Charlotte her angelic singing is top notch on the entire album and she still improves album after album. The bombastic orchestral parts make it sound very soundtrack like, but due to the heavy drums and riffs it never becomes cheesy or wimpy. “The Hurricane” is typical Delain again with some soft parts where Charlotte her voice outshines.
After this the softest song follows, a rather emotional and passional ballad. With “Fire With Fire” the metal returns in the music and this time not the standard : verse-bridge-chorus -verse order, which makes it more interesting. Grunts and strong riffing open “Pendulum”, but when Charlotte starts to sing it crumbles a bit down. The next one that needs some attention is the Queen cover “Scandal”. You need to be very self assured and confident to try on a Queen track. Most of the covers I hear can’t stand in the shade of the original, but Delain delivers a very good a bit faster version for which they sure receive kudos. “The Monarch” sounds like the music you expect to hear in a Western movie. A track with hardly any singing, but a lot of humming instead.
All in all an album with music you expect from Delain, not a lot of surprises or changes, but more improved and refined again.
01. Hands Of Gold
02. The Glory And the Scum
04. The Hurricane
05. Chrysalis – The Last Breath
06. Fire With Fire
08. Danse Macabre
10. Turn the Lights Out
11. The Monarch
Playing time: 48:00
Release date: 26 August 2016
Label: Napalm Records