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Review: Delain - Moonbathers

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2016
Duration: 47:24
Tracks: 11
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: October 31, 2016
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 2.71/5 (54.29%) (14 Votes)

Moonbathers is the fifth full-length from The Netherlands' Delain, one of the leading female-fronted Symphonic/Gothic Metal bands. The last couple of efforts, We Are the Others and The Human Contradiction, were excellent examples of how the style is done right and I was certainly looking forward to more quality music on Moonbathers. The performances are excellent and the polish on the sound is as spotless as expected. There are just enough harsh vocals to push Charlotte Wessels' lovely singing to a level only a few of her peers consistently reach. The biggest difference between the last few albums and Moonbathers is the music has taken on a cinematic feel with a larger keyboard presence and more – for lack of a better word – commercial melodies and vocal lines. To my ears this album sits somewhere between the two Annette Olzon Nightwish albums, closer to Dark Passion Play which had some really beautiful songs like "The Islander" than the abomination that was Imaginaerum. Moonbathers is far from awful like the latter Nightwish offering but it definitely parallels some of the attempts at huge scope. The lean toward popular music on Moonbathers is nowhere else as obvious as on the cover of Queen's "Scandal" where Delain sound like ABBA if the Swedish Disco legends had been a Hard Rock band. Other tracks like "Danse Macabre" and "Turn the Lights Out" are classic Delain with beautiful vocals and sharp guitar/keyboard interplay. They should easily please new and hardcore fans alike.

With Moonbathers, Delain remains at the top of the Symphonic/Gothic heap along with Nightwish, Xandria and Voices of Destiny, but on it the band is not quite as good as they have shown they are capable of being.

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