DelainHaving released ‘The Human contradiction” in 2014, and toured the globe seemingly non-stop since, selling out their own shows and supporting the likes of Sabaton, Within Temptation and Nightwish along the way, Delain have gone from strength to strength and are set to break into “the big time”.

The Lunar Prelude EP, is a teaser before the next album is released later this year. It features two new tracks, an orchestral version of one of the new tracks, a reworking of a song from a previous album and four live tracks. As such, it is a good representation of where the band are at this point in time.

Things open with “Suckerpunch”, which is a surprisingly upbeat track about fighting your inner demons. This is destined to be a live classic with its catchy sing along chorus and bombastic melodies. The music is perhaps a little more symphonic than previous work but it works well and is the perfect backdrop to Charlotte’s powerful vocals.

The pace slows a little for “Turn The Lights Out”, which will be familiar to anyone who caught Delain on their last UK tour as this was given an airing. Catchy hooks sit comfortably with meaty riffs creating symphonic metal of the highest order and if these two tracks are a taste of things to come, then we are in for a treat with the next album.

A reworking of ‘Don’t Let Go’ (which was originally available on extended versions of ‘The Human Contradiction”) follows before we are given four live tracks: ‘Lullaby’, ‘Stardust’, “Here Come the Vultures’ and ‘Army of Dolls’, all from “The Human Contradiction’. While these don’t quite capture the energy of a Delain show, they are a good introduction for the uninitiated.

The EP closes with an orchestral version of ‘Suckerpunch’. While instrumental/orchestral remixes are often completely superfluous, I would argue that this one is worthy of inclusion, adding to the appreciation and understanding of the “metal” version of the track.

You will probably already know whether you like Delain or not – If you’ve made it this far through the review, you must have at least a passing interest, so go on, give this a listen. Even the most gnarly extreme metaller needs their guilty pleasure!

(8/10 Andy Pountney)