Delain: Lunar Prelude
In the midst of their current US tour, supporting Nightwish and Sonata Arcitica; Delain has released another EP, Lunar Prelude, to hold us over until the new full-length album is ready.
Typically, I would suggest any new fan starting off with one of their incredible full length albums such as April Rain or their most recent effort, The Human Contradiction. However, this EP delivers a great sample of what Delain is all about. They start off with three studio tracks including "Suckerpunch," " Turn the Lights Out" and "Don't Let Go." As I mentioned in my show review last week, they worked each of these into their way-too-short live set during the current tour.
Additionally, the EP features four live tracks from their last album, The Human Contradiction" and an orchestral version of the EP's lead single, "Suckerpunch."
"Suckerpunch" opens up the EP, and it provides every bit the driving energy you'd expect with a song so aptly titled. On this track and the subsequent video below, the band demonstrates a new level of confidence in their ability to drive home yet another anthem that will inevitably connect with anyone willing to invest the 4:20 to hear it. This album also represents the addition of Delain's newest member, Merel Bechtold, who is an exceptional compliment to their existing guitar prodigy, Timo Somers.
What sets the sound of Delain and other bands best categorized as "symphonic rock/metal" apart from your average rock band, is the depth provided by Martijn Westerholt, keyboardist and founder of Delain. Westerholt provides the glue to each and every arrangement that helps Delain so easily connect the worlds of metal and classical music to provide not only an entertaining escape, but an intelligent exercise in listener attentiveness.
In speaking with lead singer Charlotte Wessels in Pittsburgh, PA before their show on February 24th, Charlotte discussed her strong interest in the Sandman graphic novel series, by Neil Gaiman, especially the character Death. Any fan of Gaiman's can certainly appreciate Charlotte's fascination with his character and the thoughtful homage paid to Death. This song also treads an impressive balance of beauty and aggression, as Delain has accomplished on so many occasions before (see "Virtue and Vice" from the album April Rain).
The final new studio track "Don't Let Go" is a remix of a criminally overlooked track from their last LP (due to it being exclusive to the deluxe edition of the album). On this track, Delain ops for a more techno sound, which only serves to further diversify the smattering of material on this short album. I'm glad to see this song get it's day in the sun, as well as a spot in the live show.
The entire EP clocks in just around the 35 min mark, giving any curious fan more than a fair sampling of the power and grace that Delain so seamlessly weave into both their studio efforts as well as their live performances.