Delain have returned from their 2014 release The Human Contradiction with this 8 track EP entitled Lunar Prelude. This marks the bands first official release with its current lineup, which recently saw changes starting with the departure of drummer Sander Zoer back in 2014 (replaced by Ruben Israel.) The band has also made their touring guitarist Merel Bechtold a permanent member in October of 2015.
This newest release is a bit of a departure from the previous album, which featured a much heavier sound and lyrics that often talked of revolution and rebellion from social norms. While Lunar Prelude contains 8 tracks, only 2 of them are original songs, entitled “Suckerpunch” and “Turn The Lights Out”, and neither song live up to the lyrical complexity that fans have come to know and love from Delain. While neither song is by any means a “bad” song, they’re not anything particularly special or awe-inspiring. The song “Suckerpunch” in particular comes across as being very lazy and uninspired on a lyrical level.
The third track on the EP is an alternate version of the song “Don’t Let Go” from The Human Contradiction which features the additional guitars from Bechtold and much more metal-driven sound to it.
The next 4 tracks are live versions of songs from The Human Contradiction: “Lullaby”, “Stardust”, “Here Come The Vultures”, and “Army of Dolls.” The live tracks alone make the EP worth the price of purchase. Having seen Delain live myself back in 2013 (and again, this week on Thursday, Feb. 25th in Columbus with Sonata Arctica and Nightwish) I can attest that Delain is a band worth seeing live again and again, and these live tracks make that all the more true. “Here Come The Vultures” continues to be a personal favorite song of mine, and having the live version of it included on this EP was like the delicious buttercream icing on an otherwise unimpressive and clearly store-bought chocolate cake.
The final track is an orchestral version of the song “Suckerpunch.” While I found the regular studio version left a little something to be desired, the orchestral adaptation of the song has a thing of beauty about it. It’s cinematic and elegant and has a wonderful flow to it.
All-in-all, Delain’s Lunar Prelude is worth the $6.99 you’ll spend on iTunes to get it, though don’t go into it with high hopes for the new songs. The live tracks make it all worth it, but I’m still holding out hope for their next full length album.