Though mostly a demonstration of live capabilities, Delain delivers a few good new punches.
The first thing you need to know about Delain's new Lunar Prelude EP is that it's more of a miniature live album than an extended play. It does feature three non-live studio tracks to start things off, but the rest of the songs (aside from the orchestral version of the first track, placed at the end of the CD) are live versions of previously released tracks. It goes without saying that casual fans will probably want to skip this release completely as a result, and only the most die-hard fans will want to check it out. Still, the three non-live tracks it does offer are quite good.
Suckerpunch starts things off quite nicely, though it admittedly doesn't pull a lot of punches and sticks to a safe and predictable sound. Turn The Lights Out (actually inspired by Neil Gaiman's The Sandman) is the most infectious tune to be heard on the EP, and vocalist Charlotte Wessels shines while exemplifying a bit more range than she normally tends to. Don't Let Go (New Version) shows off the band's heavier side, and is a nice change of pace to end things off.
The live tracks are a bit disappointing, especially if you have seen the band live, because you'd know that the real power and fun comes from watching their energy onstage. As they are, the live tracks offer nothing of real value.
It's quite apparent that Delain are coming into their own with their new material, improving with their songwriting and branching out a little here and there. Lunar Prelude offers only a small taste of what's to come on their next album, but it's a good indication that it will be a worthwhile venture. Some more experimentation would drastically kick it all up a notch, however, and it remains to be seen if that will come to pass.
Images courtesy of Napalm Records.