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Delight - Anew

Delight -  CD Review

CD Info
Label: Napalm
10 Tracks
Language: English or Polish

There’s always been something quite uncompromising about Delight albums. Everything is full-on, unrelenting and powerful. There are few other bands I know that are able to create the same intensity from song to song without everything getting a little stodgy and boring. Of course, this has always been Delight’s intention and there’s nothing different about Anew. In fact, there have been very few progressions in the band’s sound from year to year, but then, when you release four albums in five years then maybe there’s not that much room for it. Still, the extra year has helped Delight’s sound to progress a little and Delight’s fans will definitely not be disappointed with the outcome.

One thing that I noticed about Eternity was the hint of electronica that some of the songs carried and there is definitely more of that on this release. Delight certainly haven’t gone so far as their Polish label mates Desdemona - the songs are still dominated by very chunky, heavy guitars in the time-honoured style but we do get more synths woven into the songs, which sometimes are even a little EBM-sounding, and this is noticeable from the beginning of the first track where the power chords are buffeted by the bubbly synths and the simulated clicking of a high-hat. I think this adds a good, much-needed secondary dimension to Delight’s sound. It’s not too deep and not too overbearing, but for some metal purists it may be. However, for those of us that like the electronic sound, it’s a good fusion.

The songs are, as usual, all very good quality, from the title track, the melodic More, to the punchy Your Name and the emotive All That’s In Me. One thing that Paula has learned to do well is to use her voice to be more expressive. For the first time on an album she is able to use the harsher tones of her voice. This is hardly ‘grunting’ as some seem to want to describe it, but a welcome change to a harsher, gruffer tone that befits the song’s subjects, which is welcome in tracks such as About You where Paula’s contrast between heavy and soft singing is beautifully effective. A mention should also be given to the fabulous Bare Tree, a perfect example of no matter how heavy the guitars are, the song can still be melodic, and it’s one of the best tracks that Delight have come up with. What I did miss in this album is a faster number along the lines of I Promise, which really took Eternity to a different level for a lot of people. Delight have the ability to experiment with the faster-paced numbers, and it would be good to see more of this in the future.

Still, it’s important that Delight aren’t afraid to experiment with things and maybe we will see a further evolution in their sound from here, though they’re clearly comfortable with it and they know the formula by now. The songs are characteristically heavy yet harmonious and the lyrics at times intensely personal. The fact that Delight are able to toy with experimentation shows that they could develop their music in the future, but the timidity with which it’s done shows that they might be scared to. It’s important for bands to develop after a while and if Delight could break away from the tradition of their accepted sound, they could come up with some very different and intriguing music, especially for the Polish metal scene. Maybe Anew is the first step in this climb, and the evolution that it shows, though minimal, makes it a far more interesting work than their last couple of efforts. Breaking the mould can be a difficult thing to do, and it will be interesting to see if Delight are capable of doing it.