I am stumped and pleased at the same time with Hunter’s Moon of the Dutch outfit Delain.
Why issue an EP, and then smother it in a truckload of endless live tracks and videos? Unless you want to make a weak offering palatable to the audience by stuffing it with a ton of recordings of times past.
Or you mix 16 minutes of originality with 48 minutes of miscellaneous recordings on a CD, plus untold minutes of video on another, to inflate earnings. Which – again – is a fine strategy. Because you gotta make a living, right?
And this is a pity. Because what I found on the original tracks is pretty pleasant.
I like the renewed energy and slightly more Gothic Metal flavor, starting with Masters of Destiny. A newly found power, kind of harking back to Lucidity with some vitamins to go. Charlotte Wessels on full display with some gusto, and without the constraints of the last two to three albums or so.
I’ll even forgive them the – how to call them – pseudo Metalcore screams on Hunter’s Moon (the title track). On an almost flawless track that really breathes new life into this band. Albeit that the remaining growls on All Kills are definitely an improvement on what we found on Moonbathers.
And let’s not forget the deliciously ominous lyrics on an equally dark This Silence is Mine. Which immediately reminded me of the threatening opening of one of Nemesea‘s better albums.
That Delain let Merel Bechtold and Timo Somers participate in the song-writing of one track each surely increased the quality of the songs. Because – frankly – the usual culprits got us much more of the same lately. So, they do need to change tack or this ship will just stop dead in the water.
In other words, there is – for sure – renewed crunch and energy in this tune that this particular band started to lack lately. And that is jolly good news.
For now, I take it that Hunter’s Moon is yet another sophisticated trailer for the next record, like Lunar Prelude turned out to be. With a little afterthought to make a buck or two extra on this elaborate piece of work.
If that is really so, then I am looking forward to the new album that Delain will certainly issue in the foreseeable future.