It’s been a while since I listened to anything by Delain, so when this one dropped through our virtual letterbox I was quite keen to give it a listen. Hunter’s Moon is the final part of a trilogy begun with Lunar Prelude and then the Moonbathers album. Hunter’s Moon is only four new tracks – so essentially an EP’s worth – but with a large collection of live tracks as well, bulking the release up to 14 songs. A Blu-Ray release will also be available with the live songs having been filmed in Utrecht.
The new material obviously features Charlotte Wessels’ distinctive voice up front and central, but beyond that it’s quite a mixture of styles. “Masters of Destiny” is typical of their classic material – orchestral and lilting in equal measures. The title track is somewhat heavier to begin, and features some harsh vocals (courtesy of guitarist Timo Somers) in the introduction. It really builds and soars as the song progresses.
“The Silence is Mine” goes more for the folk angle, again bigging up the atmosphere but ends its short run with quite a heavy section complete with harsh/distorted vocals. Closer “Art Kills” is more keyboard-heavy and features dual vocals as Wessel’s voice battles against harsher male ones. It’s nice to see that even after so many releases, Delain are throwing some new moves into the mix.
As for the live tracks, they’re very well recorded and a good selection of their past material. George Oosthoek of Orphanage features on the opening song, “Hands of Gold”, and Nightwish’s Marco Hietala is special guest on many of the others. You can actually hear the crowd roar when Hietala appears during “Your Body Is A Battleground”.
Overall, this isn’t a bad release at all. The four new tracks are of a very good standard and the live songs are unique courtesy of the special guest appearances.
Hunter’s Moon is out on February 22nd