Delain – Moonbathers (Napalm)

Genre: Symphonic Metal/Melodic Rock

Don’t expect to be bopping along to one of the most upbeat melodic metal records of the year – singer Charlotte Wessels made it clear prior to Moonbathers‘ release that its lyrical theme would focus on death. Nice. But such is the soothing clarity of Delain’s slickly produced sound, the Dutch masters even make dying sound beautiful.

Snapping at the heels of genre leaders Nightwish and Within Temptation there’s no reason why Wessels and co. can’t use this remarkably assured record as the springboard for a major commercial and critical breakthrough.

Too long spent lurking in the shadows of their better known colleagues appears to have given Delain a fresh edge – the darkly affecting lyrical content is fused with a crisp, focused musicality that demands a wider audience.

It might boast a rather bizarre title but The Glory And The Scum is the standout here: Delain’s trick is giving the wickedly talented Wessels room to spread her vocal wings – at the same time underpinning that stunning range with musicianship of the highest order.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Delain Tactics