Delain are a band that made waves a decade ago with their Breakthrough album April Rain managing to carve out a pretty good niche for themselves in the process.
The years that have followed have seen the band experiment and change things up with varying degrees of success. The band hit their creative Zenith with The Lunar Prelude and Moonbathers releases which showcased a new wider scope and vision to their sound, and now their is a third part to the tale with the release of Hunter’s Moon.
Equal parts studio release and live album it successfully rounds of the Moonbathers trilogy while also giving the fans a new live release for them to sink their teeth into.
The album opens with the four new tracks Masters of Destiny, Hunter’s Moon, The Silence is Mine and Art Kills. The First thing you notice is the confidence on display here and the willingness for them to take a step forward in their career. Admittedly there is much more of a sheen to these tracks than on previous releases, there is a big shiny pop edge to the band’s latter day material and that certainly is prevailant here and it’s all bouyed once again by the incredible vocals of Charlotte Wessels who much like the rest of the band has honed her craft and really found her voice over the last decade.
The live album that makes up the bulk of the release is the real treasure here. For as good as the new songs are, there is something about the live stuff that just gives you a little more. Delain have always shone in the live arena and the proof is here. I am usually very skeptical of live albums as there is no substitute for the true live experience, but I will also hold my hand up and admit when a live release is done properly.
Songs like The Gathering, Control the Storm and Danse Macabre are simply made to be played live and here they completely soar backed by a band on the tightest of forms and an enthusiastic and vocal crowd. My only criticism is that I would have prefered a more balanced setlist featuring more representation of the bands older material it is to be expected that a package featuring new material that the accompanying live material would be reflective of that, but it’s a personal preference and a minor gripe in an otherwise enjoyable listen.
Hunter’s Moon is a great package and a nice little stop gap release for the fans while the band prepares their next full length release, it gives you just enough to tide you over until then and leaves you with something to look forward to