Whereas The Gathering led the way for female-fronted metal bands almost 20 years ago, there is almost a lineage that continues today from the Netherlands, as Within Temptation is practically in the middle, which leads to Delain as the torchbearer of the current era. It should figure, as Martijn Westerholt was originally in Within Temptation, but had to step aside prior to the band’s rise to success. Almost 10 years to the day Delain released their first full-length in Lucidity, the band is experiencing major success of their own.
Currently riding on the success of their last full-length in The Human Contradiction, Delain has released an EP in Lunar Prelude that should tide over fans until their next full-length. While it doesn’t offer much in the way of what they plan to do, it should at least provide enough of a glimpse of what is to come.
To figure out the track list, Lunar Prelude is two new songs, a song (“Don’t Let Go”) that was previously released on the bonus disc of The Human Contradiction, four live tracks, and an orchestral version of one of the new songs on the album. On to the new songs, they are “Suckerpunch” and “Turn the Lights Out,” and both are a fair study in contrast, as the former is more in your face while the latter is lighter, yet almost angelic in delivery. “Suckerpunch” is the obvious hook for listeners, as it features all the trademarks Delain is known for, from driving guitars to bombastic symphonics. As for “Turn the Lights Out,” it’s more subtle in its approach, as there is no obvious hook, but as with the case of any Delain song, is driven by Charlotte Wessel’s vocals. “Don’t Let Go” can be considered a new track if one didn’t pick up a special edition of The Human Contradiction, but otherwise, it just happens to be there. The live tracks are all songs from The Human Contradiction album, which should figure, as the album still has momentum for fans. While expecting completely new material isn’t necessarily something that an EP should do, Delain does a decent, in unspectacular enough job in offering a different look.
Lunar Prelude isn’t likely to win over new fans for Delain, but it won’t lose their existing fans, either. It’s what one would expect out of an EP for the most part, which is to say that die hard Delain fans will most likely be picking up the album as opposed to the casual listener.